LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 29, 2010) - Sernova Corp (TSX VENTURE:SVA) is pleased that the Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario, while speaking at Sernova today, announced that as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, FedDev Ontario will provide $45 million through the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to eligible small and medium sized businesses in southern Ontario to boost their research and development capacities, increase innovation, create jobs and bring their ideas from the lab to the marketplace.
Sernova Corp was awarded a financial contribution of $486,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) for 2009-2010. This non-repayable contribution, along with technical and business oriented advisory services provided by NRC-IRAP, is being used by Sernova to complete an important pre-clinical study to validate and optimize Sernova's novel Cell Pouch System™ device for cell transplantation into diabetic patients.
"I am very proud that our government is supporting the work of innovative businesses here in London," said Ed Holder, Member of Parliament for London West. "With our support, London companies are conducting more research and bringing new ideas into the marketplace that benefits Canadian businesses, workers and communities."
"Providing financial assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises demonstrates the National Research Council of Canada's commitment to turn knowledge into innovation," said NRC President John R. McDougall. "Sernova Corporation's entrepreneurship and dedication to developing industry-leading and internationally-recognized products is exactly the kind of drive we look for when partnering with innovative Canadian firms."
The Cell Pouch System™ is a proprietary device which has been developed for eventual human use and is a key component of Sernova's platform technology. The Cell Pouch System™ will be used initially for treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes and has the potential for use in additional cell transplantation therapies including haemophilia, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease and other chronic debilitating diseases.
Dr. Philip Toleikis, Sernova's President & CEO, noted "Our Cell Pouch System™ is a proprietary medical device developed for human use which is implanted under the skin and rapidly forms into a tissue-engineered, organ-like structure that provides a natural environment for the survival and function of therapeutic cells. The NRC-IRAP sponsored study showed very encouraging positive long-term results in which daily insulin injections were eliminated representing a significant achievement as a possible alternative to the current practice of injecting islets directly into the portal vein of the liver. In addition, there was a significant reduction in the number of insulin-producing islets used to achieve this efficacy relative to the current standard of care for islet transplantation suggesting that the device may be islet-sparing. The financial contribution from NRC-IRAP was a key component enabling us to employ highly skilled scientists to conduct the study towards developing our products for the international market pending regulatory approval."
Based on these encouraging results, the Company is taking steps towards clinical evaluation of its Cell Pouch System™.
According to the American Diabetes Association approximately 9 million Americans require insulin injections and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. One out of every eight dollars spent on health care in the United States is spent on treating diabetes and its complications. Worldwide expenditures on insulin alone are estimated to be $15 billion annually and growing.
Sernova Corp is a Canadian-based health sciences company focused on product development and commercialization of innovative proprietary platform medical technologies in the cell therapy arena such as the Cell Pouch System™ to provide a safe and efficacious environment for therapeutic cells and Sertolin™, a technology which, when combined with cell therapy, may protect therapeutic cells without the need for patients to take anti-rejection drugs.
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