Sernova Agrees on Terms to Gain Access to Proprietary Stem Cell Technology For the Treatment of Diabetes
July 15, 2014 (Source: Marketwired) — Sernova Corp. (TSX VENTURE: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™ – 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.”
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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™, 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.
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.
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.
Raj Shah has professional experience working for over a half a dozen years at financial firms such as Merrill Lynch and First Allied Securities Inc., ... <Read more about Raj Shah>