SOURCE: Sirona Biochem Corp.

Sirona Biochem Corp.

November 12, 2009 11:58 ET

Sirona Biochem CEO Says Diabetes Will Have 'Profound Consequences' for Canada as the Epidemic Strikes More Young People

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwire - November 12, 2009) - Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX-V: SBM) CEO, Dr. Howard Verrico, says the threat of diabetes for young Canadians is being vastly underestimated and will have profound consequences.

Sirona Biochem CEO, Dr. Howard Verrico, said, "Diabetes and obesity are rampant. Children being born today in Canada have a one-in-three chance of eventually developing Type 2 diabetes that will, in many cases, shorten their lives and also reduce the overall quality of their lives."

Commenting in relation to Global Diabetes Day being held this Saturday, he continued, "The headlines are all about H1N1 these days and the tragedies associated with it. But, by and large, that disease is one which can be prevented by vaccination, and, in better than 99% of cases, is a thankfully short illness.

"Diabetes, and particularly the most common form Type 2, is here to stay and is taking an ever stronger grip on the population as it advances strongly now into the young," stated Dr. Verrico.

"The Government of Canada needs to take this disease far more seriously and now, not in a decade or two when today's children have been exposed to the various factors that help trigger the disease.

"There is no cure, but there are dietary, lifestyle choices that can be made to limit or even prevent its onset.

"Today, the primary medical challenge with the disease is to keep blood sugars at as close to normal levels as possible. That is a very difficult task without effective drugs to help the process as people find it extremely difficult to modify their diets. We still have the bodies of our ancient ancestors and they weren't designed for dealing with today's dizzying array of high calorie food delights."

"This is why our drug development with unique Sodium-Glucose Transporter Inhibitor ('SGLT) molecules, is focused on helping the body expel the excess sugars it's being bombarded with. Normally, the body retains nearly 100 percent of them, often with the consequences of fat formation, obesity, and diabetes," concluded Dr. Verrico.

Sirona Biochem owns the worldwide product rights to a library of patented sodium glucose transporter SGLT inhibitors to treat diabetes and obesity. SGLT inhibitors help block the reuptake of excess sugars from urine, which can then reduce high blood sugar towards normal levels.

Sirona Biochem has a strategic partnership with TFChem, a drug discovery company based in Rouen, France. TFChem licenses its technology of fluorinated carbohydrate mimics: GlycoMim®, and products in development, to biotech companies. This strategic partnership was completed by a detailed research and licence agreement signed one year ago.

Over 2 million Canadians and more than 23 million Americans have diabetes. The diabetes drug market reached US$18 billion in 2005, and is expected to increase to $21-25 billion by 2011.

Obesity has also become a major health problem for many post-industrial societies, so much so that in 2004, the United States Health and Human Services declared obesity to be a disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that globally, in 2005, 1.6 billion adults were overweight with at least 400 million adults obese. By 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and 700 million will be obese. Obesity poses a major health risk because it greatly increases the risk of co-morbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and cancer.


Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX: V - SBM) is an emerging biotech company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel drug compounds. The current focus is on treatments for Type II diabetes and obesity. Sirona has entered into a license agreement with TFChem S.A.R.L., a drug discovery company based in Rouen, France. TFChem licenses its technology of fluorinated carbohydrate mimics: GlycoMim®, and products in development, to biotech companies. The license agreement with TFChem provides for research and development of new compounds known as SGLT Inhibitors.

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.


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