The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Harvard School of Public Health report entitled “The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases” estimates global diseases
kill 36 million people every year and will cost upwards of US$47 trillion by 2030.
The World Health Organization's four biggest killers; cancer, heart disease, diabetes and
chronic respiratory disease are dominant in non-communicable disease (NCD) mortality
and morbidity. All four are increasing in prevalence and the cost of treatment is spiraling
out of control.
Exactly what is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are too high.
Much of the food you eat is broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. In response
to a rise in glucose levels after a meal the islets beta-cells in the pancreas read blood glucose
levels and secrete insulin into the blood. Insulin acts to open the gates of cells allowing the
glucose to move from the blood stream into the cells where it can be utilized for energy.
A Type 1 diabetes diagnosis means the pancreatic beta cells that read glucose levels and secrete
insulin have been damaged or destroyed. Thus glucose cannot move from the bloodstream into the cells.
A Type 2 (insulin resistance) diabetes diagnosis is a far more common verdict for people than
Type 1. Insulin resistance happens because of chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin levels.
These elevated levels of sugar and insulin have the effect of "numbing" the cellular processes which
move the sugar from the blood stream to the cells - the body cannot respond to the insulin "requests" to move blood sugar into the cells. Roughly 27% of the people who start out as Type 2
diabetics, will, in the future require insulin injections similar to Type 1 diabetics.
Between Type-1 and Type-2 patients with diabetes the total number of diabetics requiring insulin
in just North America, is about nine million.
Sernova Corp. TSX:V-SVA is a Canadian-based medical device development company focused on
chronic metabolic, neurological, and haematological diseases. Due to the enormous market and
potential for significantly improved patient treatment, Sernova’s first product focus is on diabetes.
Sernova’s Cell Pouch System™ is a versatile, scalable credit card-sized device, made of FDA approved
materials that provides a natural "organ-like" environment for therapeutic cells such as insulin
producing islets for diabetics. Think of the Cell Pouch System™ as a potential natural insulin producing
pump with the added benefit of fine-tuned glucose control. Placed under the skin in a simple inexpensive
procedure it develops endocrine pancreas like characteristics when islets are placed into the device taking
over normal glucose control. A key feature of the device is its ability to stimulate natural microvessel
development, thought to be essential for long-term survival and function of therapeutic cells.
Sernova’s advanced technologies aim to provide individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes freedom from insulin injections, pumps and daily blood glucose monitoring
Source: Sernova Corp
July 15th, 2014, 6:00 a.m. EDT
LONDON, ONTARIO – (Marketwire – July 15, 2014) – Sernova Corp. (TSX-V: SVA) a clinical stage company developing medical technologies for the long-term treatment of chronic metabolic diseases including diabetes, blood disorders such as haemophilia and other diseases announced today it has agreed on key terms with the University Health Network of Toronto (UHN) to gain access to worldwide, exclusive rights to certain patent-pending technologies developed by distinguished UHN researchers, Dr. Cristina Nostro and Dr. Gordon Keller, for the advancement of insulin-producing stem cells for the treatment of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes.
Sernova and UHN have entered into a Term Sheet with an exclusive negotiation period which outlines the terms of the definitive license agreement for the granting of an exclusive license to Sernova covering all patent rights relating to the UHN stem cell technologies including for the treatment of diabetes. A product development program is also being designed to advance the technologies from preclinical proof-of-concept studies through to human testing on an expedited basis.
Sernova believes the proprietary product – insulin producing stem cells, protected locally from immune system attack and placed within Sernova’s prevascularized Cell Pouch(TM) – has the potential to provide a significant break-through in the quality of treatment for the millions of people suffering from insulin-dependent diabetes, following successful preclinical and clinical testing. Such individuals could essentially be liberated from their current onerous regime of daily blood glucose testing and insulin administration delivered through injections or electronic means which is expected to materially improve their quality of life while also reducing short term and longer term health care costs.
Dr. Philip Toleikis, CEO of Sernova remarked, “Upon execution of the definitive licensing agreement, Sernova will have exclusive rights to the UHN stem cell technologies. With this agreement we will have access to the full complement of technologies necessary to develop an
advanced cell-based treatment for the millions of people who have insulin-dependent diabetes. Current standard of care for islet transplantation is limited to only the sickest of people with diabetes due to both a lack of cadaveric donor islet cells and a requirement for life-long use of toxic anti-rejection drugs.”
Dr. Toleikis continued, “Markedly improving the standard of care for insulin dependent diabetes is an important objective for our Company and a key interest for the families who have been seeking a break-through in the quality of treatment for many years. We believe that combining the expertise and experience of Sernova’s internal R&D team, UHN’s stem cell team, and diabetes clinicians and researchers, such as Dr. James Shapiro and other investigators, will serve to maximize the probability of bringing this advanced treatment to commercialization.”
Remarked Kevin Egan, Chair of Sernova’s Business Advisory Board, “Combining Sernova’s regenerative medicine technologies with those of the UHN stem cell program could produce the next generation of islet transplant therapy for insulin-dependent diabetes patients. We anticipate that Sernova’s therapy should also open up new avenues for partnering discussions with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies developing new breakthrough treatments for this debilitating disease.”
Sernova’s rights to the UHN stem cell technologies are subject to negotiation and execution of a definitive license agreement with UHN based on the signed term sheet.
The worldwide incidence of diabetes is approximately 370 million people. Sernova’s potential addressable market which includes Type-1 patients and those Type-2 patients requiring insulin is over 30 million people. Although there is no cure for diabetes, blood glucose levels are currently being controlled with frequent blood glucose testing combined with regular injections of insulin via syringe or insulin pump. However, blood glucose control using this treatment approach can be poor, leading to side effects such as heart, kidney and eye diseases as well as ischemia-induced amputations. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, annual health care costs for the treatment of diabetes and its debilitating side effects are estimated to be over US $245 billion per year in North America (http://jdrf.org/).
Sernova Corp is a clinical stage regenerative medicine company developing medical technologies for the treatment of chronic debilitating metabolic diseases such as diabetes, blood disorders including haemophilia and other diseases treated through replacement of proteins or hormones missing or in short supply within the body. Sernova is developing the Cell Pouch(TM), an implantable medical device for therapeutic cells (donor, xenogeneic or stem cells) which then release proteins and/or hormones as required. The therapeutic cells are protected from immune attack by Sernova’s proprietary technologies.
For further information contact:
Philip Toleikis, Ph.D., President and CEO Tel: (604) 961-2939
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.sernova.com
Ray Matthews & Associates
Suite 601-128 West Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0E6
Tel: (604) 818-7778 www.raymatthews.ca
Forward Looking Information
This release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “expects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “projects”, “potential” and similar expressions, or that events or conditions “will”, “would”, “may”, “could” or “should” occur. Forward-looking information in this news release includes the expectation of completing a definitive license agreement with UHN and Sernova’s ability to successfully combine our product with UHN technology to improve the lives of diabetes patients while lowering healthcare costs. Although Sernova believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of Sernova’s management on the date such statements were made. Sernova expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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