News Column

Sirona's Science Boosts Anti-Aging Technology

May 26, 2014

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Within the town of Val de Reuil in the French coastal province of Normandy at a place called the Path of Innovations, scientists are working to slow down the human body's aging process.

The TF Chem lab owned by Vancouver'sSirona Biochem Corp. (TSX-V:SBM), is in the forefront of a race where promising anti-aging technology is being developed based on the findings of animal biology professor, Arthur DeVries.

DeVries discovered that Antarctic fish were able to survive sub-zero temperatures under the polar icecaps thanks to glycoproteins or an "anti-freeze" that protect their cells.

Sirona and its subsidiary TFChem have now successfully synthesized compounds derived from these naturally occurring glycoproteins and created an anti-aging technology intended to protect people's skin, not just from cold temperatures, but UV damage, oxidative stress and other catalysts of visible aging.

The discovery is so significant in the biotech sector that it did not take long for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to formalize an agreement with Sirona to use each other's technology to create an anti-aging skin care treatment.

"Our shared goal is to create an anti-aging skin treatment that presents unparalleled efficacy and commercial opportunity for the predicted $300 billion dollar anti-aging global market," said Neil Belenkie, CEO of Sirona Biochem.

Sirona's anti-aging project is also being championed by Jacques Cousteau's son and grandson, Jean-Michel and Fabien Cousteau, who will lend their global brand to support the commercialization of this new anti-aging cosmetic technology, especially because it does not require harvesting any fish.

It has also attracted unwanted attention by multi-national cosmetic giants like L'oreal which see the potential of synthetic protein's promising anti-aging properties to develop its own product.

"It's a demonstration of how valuable this technology is being perceived by the industry and how competitive an industry it is," said Belenkie.

Sirona, with a modest market cap of $12.2 million, is one of the bright lights in the biotech industry which has recently taken a stock market beating after a two year tear.

Biotech market analysts believe that Sirona's science is incredibly promising for investors looking for serious growth because of its diverse programs.

In addition to the anti-aging program developed by TFChem, the scientists at Sirona's French lab are also world renowned in the stabilization of carbohydrate molecules.

Sirona Biochem's proprietary chemistry technology has relevance in many therapeutic, cosmetic and biological areas where the potential for development is high. In addition to the diabetes, skin lightener, anti-aging and biological ingredients programs, the company is exploring development of a cancer vaccine antigen.

With some products fairly close to marketability and others showing multiple uses in the pipeline, Sirona has signed an agreement with Bloom Burton, Canada's leading healthcare-specialized investment banking group, to commercialize new therapeutics in the areas of inflammation and infectious disease.

"We believe Sirona has more therapeutic opportunities than can be exploited by Sirona alone. We are excited to develop these assets in partnership with Sirona and monetize them at the appropriate time," said Bloom Burton President, Brian Bloom.

Last January, Sirona entered into a global exclusive licensing agreement with Obagi Medical Products (Obagi), a subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, for the commercialization of its skin lightening compound TFC-849. Obagi Medical Products, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical company specializing in products that are designed to minimize the appearance of premature skin aging, skin damage, hyperpigmentation, acne, and sun damage.

In the same month, Sirona completed an exclusive licensing agreement with Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals (Wanbang Biopharma) for its anti-diabetic SGLT2 inhibitor in the People's Republic of China.

Wanbang Biopharma is one of the largest manufacturers and marketers of a comprehensive portfolio of drugs for diabetes in China where, more than 90 million people suffer from diabetes, and this number is increasing at an alarming rate of 20% per year.

Paul Drohan, president and CEO of LifeSciences BC, a Vancouver-based industry association, said today's environment is an interesting one for the biotech industry in Canada and globally. "It's a really unique time. We're starting to see capital coming back, and some unique agreements being signed with international organizations. Sirona, for one, has established a foothold in China, as well as Europe where government is very supportive of the life sciences industry."

CONTACT: Christopher Hopton CFO Sirona Biochem Corp. Phone: 1.604.282.6064 Email:

Source: Sirona Biochem Corp

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Source: GlobeNewswire - Canada

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