Sernova Corp

Sernova Corp

October 20, 2009 06:00 ET

Sernova's Cell Pouch System™ and Sertolin™ Preclinical Efficacy Presented at Leading International Islet Transplant Conference

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2009) - Sernova Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SVA) is pleased to provide a summary of results of islet transplantation studies related to its Cell Pouch System™ and Sertolin™ technologies presented at the joint conference of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association and the International Xenotransplantation Association held in Venice, Italy from October 12 - 16.

Sernova scientists presented seven abstracts, three of which were highlighted in oral presentations. These data serve to validate the efficacy of Sernova's prototype proprietary Cell Pouch System™ and Sertolin™ technologies in vivo.

The Cell Pouch System™ is a revolutionary improvement over the current practice of injecting cells into blood vessels. It is a chamber which becomes a vascularised organ-like structure when placed in the body and provides the microcirculation essential to early function and long-term survival of cells. The first application is diabetes where the Cell Pouch System™ for islet transplantation is expected to prevent the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction (IBMIR) believed to rapidly destroy over 90% of implanted islets placed into the portal vein and eliminate islet-induced blood clotting and liver thrombosis. Overall the data presented provide in vivo validation of Sernova's Cell Pouch System™ for cell transplantation and has aided in the design and manufacture of a human-scaled device which is currently being tested in a large animal model of diabetes. The National Research Council of Canada is providing Sernova with a financial contribution of up to $486,000 to support these studies.

The Company's Sertolin™ technology is a novel combination therapy using Sertoli cells to provide an immune-protected environment for cell transplant which may reduce or eliminate the need for immunosuppressant agents. The company reported that without immunosuppressive drugs, diabetic rats transplanted with porcine islets showed a strong IgG-mediated rejection of islets which were completely destroyed by the 14 day evaluation time point. To eliminate or reduce the dose of toxic immunosuppressant agents, porcine Sertoli cells known to naturally protect sperm cells from immune attack were co-transplanted with porcine islets into the kidney capsule. It was shown that the co-transplant using Sertoli cells from sexually mature porcine and porcine islets significantly inhibited the IgG immune response with islets showing long-term robust production of insulin at 70 and 180 days post-implantation. The improvement was attributed in part to a 12-15 fold increase in Fas-L which is thought to protect the islets long-term against lymphocyte invasion.

In vivo studies using the prototype Cell Pouch System™ device in combination with Sertolin™ technology demonstrated that the device becomes incorporated with a collagen matrix when placed under the skin or the omentum of rats and becomes well-vascularised as assessed by microvessel staining, thus validating several key features of the device. In addition, following cell transplantation, diabetic animals rapidly achieved normoglycemia within two weeks, which was maintained for the duration of the study - over 100 days. These results demonstrate that Sernova's Cell Pouch System™ and Sertolin™ technologies meet the criteria for long-term protection of islets in this immune-competent animal model of diabetes.

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.

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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 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.

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