Sernova Corp
TSX VENTURE : SVA

Sernova Corp

December 16, 2010 06:00 ET

Prominent Transplant Surgeon, Dr. Steven Paraskevas, Joins Sernova Scientific Advisory Board

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2010) - Sernova Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SVA), is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Steven Paraskevas, MD, Ph.D., to the Corporation's Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Paraskevas is transplant surgeon at McGill University Health Centre and Director of the Pancreas and Islet Transplant Program and of the Human Islet Isolation Laboratory at McGill.

"Dr. Paraskevas is highly respected in the islet transplant field and will be an excellent addition to Sernova's clinical development team working on the Cell Pouch™," said Dr. James Shapiro, MD, Ph.D. FRCS (Eng.) FRCSC, Director of the Clinical Islet Transplantation Program at the University of Alberta and member of Sernova's scientific advisory board. 

"The new islet transplantation program at McGill University headed by Dr. Paraskevas is the third such centre in Canada and provides the potential to significantly increase the number of diabetic patients that can be treated with donor islets. This advancement will not only benefit diabetic patients but will be advantageous to Sernova as it prepares for clinical development of the Cell Pouch™," noted Dr. Philip Toleikis, President & CEO of Sernova Corp.

Dr. Paraskevas earned a BA in Biology at Harvard University in 1988, and obtained his MD and completed General Surgery residency at McGill. During that time, he also studied mechanisms of cell death in transplanted human islets, completing a PhD in Experimental Surgery at McGill in 2003. Based on this work, he earned the Scientific Trainee Award of the Canadian Diabetes Association in 1997. After residency, he completed a two-year fellowship in abdominal solid-organ transplantation at the University of Minnesota, where he was also involved in the clinical islet transplant program under Dr Bernhard Hering. He returned to McGill in 2002 and is currently Associate Professor in Surgery and member of the multi-organ transplant program.

His current research focuses on methods to improve islet survival of human islets, paralleling the focus of Sernova's proprietary technologies. He is a Councillor-at-large of the Canadian Society of Transplantation and Chair of the Cell Transplant Committee of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

"Sernova is developing an eminent team of clinicians to lead the clinical evaluation of the Cell Pouch™ and we are thrilled to have Dr. Paraskevas as a member of that team, added Dr. David White, Chairman of Sernova's Scientific Advisory Board. 

Sernova's Cell Pouch System™ is a scalable medical device providing a natural "organ-like" environment for therapeutic cells. Once implanted under the skin, it develops into a tissue-engineered pancreas when infused with islets. The natural environment established by the Cell Pouch System™ is expected to conserve cell number, and promote natural function thereby increasing cell survival, while significantly increasing the number of treatable patients beyond those with severe disease.

About Sernova

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 contains forward-looking information, which involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from current expectation. Important factors - including availability of funds, the results of financing efforts, the results of research and product development activities -- that could cause actual results to differ materially from Sernova's expectations are disclosed in Sernova's documents filed from time to time on SEDAR (see www.sedar.com). Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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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