LONDON, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/25/13 -- Sernova Corp. ("Sernova" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: SVA) a clinical stage company today announced that it has been awarded a third non-refundable financial contribution of up to $254,000 from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) for the optimization of its Sertolin technology within its Cell Pouch for the treatment of chronic diseases. This award brings the total contribution of IRAP to Sernova's Research and Development programs of over $1.0M since July 2009.
Sernova's proprietary Sertolin technology protects therapeutic cell types, such as insulin producing islets from immune system attack locally within the Cell Pouch. Sernova believes its Sertolin technology has the potential to reduce or eliminate the need for expensive lifelong daily antirejection drug cocktails that make subjects susceptible to serious infections.
The new IRAP financial contribution is being used for a key series of studies to optimize the long-term safety and efficacy of Sertolin with insulin-producing islets in the Cell Pouch. Data derived from this research will be used in a regulatory package for potential future testing in human clinical trials.
"We are quite pleased to receive NRC-IRAP support once again," said Dr. Philip Toleikis President and CEO of Sernova. "The optimization work is in line with our company's business strategy in advancing Sernova's local immune protection technology and is an important step in bringing the possibility of safe, efficacious and cost-effective cell replacement one step closer to millions of patients with chronic debilitating diseases such as diabetes."
"Sernova is unique in having the only proprietary human scalable technology solution for therapeutic cells (i.e. donor cells, stem cells, and xenogeneic cells) which can thrive within its Cell Pouch in a natural tissue matrix rich in blood vessels and protected by Sertolin from immune system attack," added Toleikis.
The successful commercialization of Sernova's Cell Pouch System with local immune protection of therapeutic cells is expected to build a substantial source of revenue for Sernova while providing an important treatment option to improve the outcome and quality of life of patients suffering from chronic diseases.
Sertolin provides an immune-protected local environment for transplanted therapeutic cells such as insulin producing islets by producing factors which modulate the local immune response. Sertolin may reduce or eliminate the need for immunosuppressant agents.
About The Cell Pouch
The Cell Pouch is a proprietary medical device that, following subcutaneous implantation, incorporates with tissue and microvessels forming a natural environment for transplantation of therapeutic cells. Multiple preclinical studies demonstrated that the Cell Pouch provides a safe environment for transplanted cells, and fosters the long-term efficacy of these therapeutic cells. The Cell Pouch is currently being tested in a human clinical trial in subjects with diabetes receiving an islet transplant.
Sernova Corp. is a clinical stage health-sciences company focused on commercializing medical technologies. Sernova is developing a platform technology based on the Cell Pouch, Sertolin and therapeutic cells, for a number of chronic diseases, including insulin-dependent diabetes as a first indication and other cell therapies such as for parathyroid disease, haemophilia, and Parkinson's disease. Sernova's goals for the Cell Pouch for diabetes include increasing the number of patients currently treated with intraportal delivery of donor islets and to provide a safe environment for sources of unlimited insulin-secreting cells such as insulin-producing stem cells and xenogeneic cells. This vision combined with local anti-rejection protection of the cells could enable millions of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes to be treated without limitation to availability of cells.
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. 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.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Philip Toleikis, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Russo Partners, LLC
Tony Russo, Ph.D.
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