Cardio3 says questions over heart drug research are unfounded

BRUSSELS Tue Jul 9, 2013 7:05am EDT

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Newly listed heart drug firm Cardio3 said on Tuesday that questions raised in Forbes magazine over research on its leading product were unfounded.

The article, published online late on Monday, said a group of doctors had questioned the company's research on C-Cure. Shares in Cardio3 fell as much as 8 percent and were trading down 4.4 percent by 0624 EDT (1024 GMT).

The questions relate to a mid-stage trial on C-Cure, a treatment for heart failure using cell regeneration technology.

"The elements described are so unfounded that it's really difficult to qualify," Cardio3's Chief Executive Christian Homsy told Reuters.

"Scientific debate should be carried on in scientific journals and not in the press, in our opinion," he said.

The company also pointed out that its research underwent peer review according to the publication policy of the American College of Cardiology, whose journal published the results of the Phase II study.

Cardio3 listed in Brussels on Friday, raising 23 million euros ($29.59 million) in the second initial public offering (IPO) in Belgium for over three years.

By Monday's close, its shares had risen 21 percent from the IPO price, prior to publication of the article.

The loss-making company is using the IPO cash to fund a large-scale European trial for C-Cure, its most advanced drug.

($1 = 0.7773 euros)

(Reporting by Ben Deighton; Editing by Louise Ireland)