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 Corp. is appointing Frank Holler to its Board of Directors. A Vancouver-based entrepreneur and investor, Mr. Holler brings 25 years of success-driven experience in the biopharma and technology sectors to Sernova's board. He has been directly involved in the founding and development of some of Canada's most successful biopharma companies including ID Biomedical Corp., Angiotech Pharmaceuticals and Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
"Frank possesses the ideal combination of coveted bioscience experience and strategic relationships with institutions and pharma to guide Sernova's strategic advancement," stated Dr. George Adams, Sernova's board chairman.
"I am pleased to be joining the board of Sernova," said Mr. Holler. "Sernova's CEO, Dr. Philip Toleikis, is a former Angiotech colleague and I am looking forward to working with him and the Sernova team as we advance Sernova's therapeutic cell-based product development programs and drive value for shareholders."
Mr. Holler previously served as president and chief executive officer of Xenon Pharmaceuticals, a genetics-based drug development company focused on the treatment of rare inherited medical conditions, president and chief executive officer of ID Biomedical, a vaccine development company sold to GlaxoSmithKline in 2005, and was a founding director of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, a TSX/Nasdaq-listed biotechnology company. He was also an investment banker with Merrill Lynch Canada and Wood Gundy Inc. (now CIBC World Markets), and former director of the British Columbia Biotechnology Association (now LifeSciences BC), and in 2003 received the B.C. Biotech Award for Vision and Leadership.
"Frank's extensive industry experience, capital markets expertise and strategic insights will be very helpful as Sernova continues to advance its programs," said Dr. Toleikis. "In particular, I believe his background in corporate finance, strategic partnering and M&A will be a good fit for Sernova as we continue to build out the company's leading position in regenerative medicine."
Sernova also announces that it granted 150,000 incentive stock options on Feb. 11, 2014, to certain directors of the company to purchase common shares in the capital stock of the company subject to approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. Each option entitles the holder to purchase one common share of the company at an exercise price of 15 cents, for a period of five years, in accordance with the provisions of the Sernova stock option plan.