Sernova Corp
TSX VENTURE : SVA

Sernova Corp

September 13, 2010 06:00 ET

Sernova Awarded $275,000 Financial Contribution From NRC-IRAP to Support Research and Development

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2010) - Sernova Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SVA) announced it has been awarded a second non-refundable financial contribution of up to $275,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

This award will bring IRAP's total contribution to Sernova's research and development programs to $761,000 since July 2009.The new funding will be used to support study of the potential islet-sparing effect and optimal dose of islets to provide a long-term treatment for diabetic patients using Sernova's novel Cell Pouch System™ in a pre-clinical allograft model of diabetes.

The Cell Pouch System™, a proprietary medical device, is Sernova's lead product which is implanted under the skin rapidly forming into a tissue-engineered, organ-like structure that provides a natural environment for the survival and function of therapeutic cells.

Dr. Philip Toleikis said, "This IRAP contribution enables Sernova to accelerate the commercialization of the Cell Pouch System™ into the allograft market. Findings from this study could revolutionize the way donor islets are transplanted into patients and greatly increase the potential clinical utility of the Cell Pouch System™ for the treatment of diabetes worldwide."

Under the current standard of care, known as the Edmonton Protocol, donor islets are injected directly into the portal vein of the liver. This process causes an instant blood-mediated reaction (IBMIR) which destroys insulin-producing islets and leads to further side effects for patients. Sernova's previous results in an autograft setting, also supported by NRC-IRAP, suggest the cells implanted using the Cell Pouch System™ avoid IBMIR thereby providing efficacy with far fewer islets than required for the Edmonton Protocol.

"The potential islet-sparing of Sernova's approach would mean that islet transplantation could become a viable treatment option for millions of patients suffering from diabetes worldwide," added Toleikis.

The new study supported by the NRC-IRAP program will transplant diabetic animals with various doses of donor insulin-producing islets into Sernova's Cell Pouch System™ and will be completed within 12 months. Positive interim results are expected to be used to support a future clinical study in allograft patients, the largest segment of patients currently receiving donor islets.

Findings from this study could revolutionize the way islet transplantation is conducted if it is possible to treat multiple patients with a single donor pancreas.

Dr. Philip Toleikis, President and CEO of Sernova said "We are grateful to NRC-IRAP for their continued support of the commercialization of the Cell Pouch System™. The financial support along with technical and business-oriented advisory services, provide a distinct competitive advantage for Sernova. We look forward to commercializing our technology into multiple disease indications and major markets worldwide."

Sernova also announced the granting of incentive stock options to non-employee directors to purchase up to an aggregate of 330,000 common shares at $0.12 per share for a period of 5 years expiring September 9, 2015.

About NRC-IRAP

The National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) is Canada's premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is a vital component of the NRC, a cornerstone in Canada's innovation system, regarded world-wide as one of the best programs of its kind.

Further information can be found at http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/irap/about/index.html.

About Sernova

Sernova Corp. is a Canadian-based health sciences company focused on product development and commercialization of innovative proprietary platform medical technologies in the cell therapy arena such as the Cell Pouch System™ to provide a safe and efficacious environment for therapeutic cells and Sertolin™, a technology which, when combined with cell therapy, may protect therapeutic cells without the need for patients to take anti-rejection drugs.

The securities offered have not been, and will not be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or any applicable exemption from the registration requirement of such Act. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

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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