LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 20, 2009) - Sernova Corp. (TSX VENTURE: SVA) today announced it has been awarded a financial contribution of up to $486,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). This non-repayable contribution, along with technical and business oriented advisory services provided by NRC-IRAP, will be used by Sernova to support an important pre-clinical study to validate and optimize Sernova's novel Cell Pouch System™ device for cell transplantation into humans.
The Cell Pouch System™ is a proprietary device which has been developed for 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, President and CEO of Sernova said "We are grateful to NRC-IRAP for their crucial support of this important study, which will advance the development of a Canadian technology with ramifications for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetics and other major diseases. We appreciate NRC-IRAP's thorough review of our development program and look forward to commercializing our technology into multiple disease indications and major markets worldwide."
The study supported by NRC-IRAP involves implantation of Sernova's novel medical device into diabetic pigs to establish device parameters and optimize performance. The study is expected to commence in August, 2009 and be completed within 12 months. The interim results that will be generated within 3-6 months will be used to finalize the device design for the planned large animal study recommended by the FDA, in support of a future Phase I/II human clinical study. Sernova has initiated discussions to conduct this large animal study in collaboration with a major transplant centre in the United States.
NRC-IRAP provides non-repayable funding to innovative Canadian companies to support their development of new technologies that will benefit both the company and Canada as a whole. Sernova will be reimbursed for 100% of designated salary costs to a maximum of $262,000, and for 69% of contractor fees to a maximum of $224,000. The contribution will be payable to a maximum of $344,000 in the year ending March 31, 2010, and a further $142,000 in the year ending March 31, 2011. The NRC-IRAP contribution is subject to the usual financial and legal terms and conditions stipulated by the National Research Council of Canada.
NRC-IRAP (http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/irap.html) works with small- and medium-sized Canadian firms, providing expertise and advice as well as potential funding in developing their innovative ideas. Financial assistance for this project is a direct result of the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan outlined in Budget 2009.
Sernova Corp. is a Canadian-based, health-sciences company focused on commercializing medical technologies. Sernova is currently developing a platform technology for a number of serious disease indications, starting with a novel treatment for insulin-dependent diabetes, using the novel Cell Pouch System™ and its patented Sertolin™ cell technology. 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 8 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.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
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