SERNOVA AGREES ON TERMS TO GAIN ACCESS TO PROPRIETARY STEM CELL TECHNOLOGY FOR THE TREATMENT OF DIABETES
Sernova Corp. 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."
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.