Press release from Marketwire

Sirona Biochem's Skin Lightener Compound Seven Times More Effective Than Popular Commercial Lightener in Study

Compound viability in $9 billion market established; Product development takes next steps

Thursday, November 15, 2012

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2012) - Sirona Biochem Corp (TSX VENTURE:SBM) today reported that its skin depigmenting agent, TFC-723, reduced melanin production seven times more effectively than beta arbutin, a leading skin lightener. The study, funded through a $1.9 million French government grant, is led by Sirona Biochem's subsidiary company TFChem and includes a consortium of partners.

"The use of cosmetic skin lighteners is increasing dramatically worldwide and we plan to meet the demand for a more effective and safer skin lightening agent," said Neil Belenkie, Chief Executive Officer of Sirona Biochem. "We are thrilled that these positive study results continue to reinforce the benefits of our proprietary platform over existing technologies," Mr. Belenkie added.

Efficacy studies were conducted using commercial human tyrosinase Feldan® to determine the compound's ability to inhibit tyrosinase activity. Tyrosinase is an enzyme responsible for melanin production or darkening of the skin. In the study, TFC-723 inhibited melanin production more effectively than commercial skin lightener beta arbutin. An IC50 calculation, a standard laboratory inhibiting measure, showed that TFC-723 was seven times more effective at inhibiting human tyrosinase activity than beta arbutin.

Additional studies are being conducted to compare the company's other depigmenting agent, TFC-849, against alpha arbutin, another popular commercial skin lightening agent. Stability studies are also being conducted on TFC-723 and TFC-849.

Sirona Biochem's subsidiary, TFChem, is developing skin depigmenting agents to be used as cosmetic skin lighteners. The company's goal is to develop new, effective depigmenting agents that are stable and do not release hydroquinone, a common adverse effect of many skin lighteners.

According to Global Industry Analysts, the global skin lightening market was estimated to be US$7.5 billion in 2009 and is expected to exceed US$10 billion by 2015. It is estimated approximately 15 percent of the global population invests in skin lightening products. In Japan alone, an estimated US$5.9B was spent on skin lighteners.

About Sirona Biochem Corp.

Sirona Biochem is a biotechnology company developing diabetes therapeutics, cancer vaccine antigens, skin depigmenting and anti-aging agents for cosmetic use, and biological ingredients. The company utilizes a proprietary chemistry technique to improve pharmaceutical properties of carbohydrate-based molecules. For more information visit

About the Project.

Sirona Biochem's French subsidiary, TFChem received in November 2011 a $1.9-million grant. This project is co-financed by the European Union and Europe witnesses in Haute-Normandie with the support of European Regional Development Fund (E.R.D.F.). A consortium of partners - including TFChem, the University of Rouen (LMSM EA4312) and contract research organization Biogalenys - has been assembled to advance this project. The French government and European Union are looking to promote and initiate collaborative projects that are focused on the development of new products and services containing a high level of innovation.

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