Collaboration Combines Sernova’s Cell Pouch™ and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Novel Immune Protection Technology
LONDON, ONTARIO (Marketwire – July 7, 2015) – Sernova Corp. (TSX-V: SVA; FRA: PSH), is pleased to announce a research collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, supported with funding from JDRF to develop a novel treatment for diabetes.
Sernova and Dr. Mark Poznansky, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital will collaborate on the project, with JDRF providing $150,000 USD in funding support. The collaboration will incorporate a proprietary local immune protectant technology within Sernova’s novel Cell Pouch as a potential new treatment for patients with insulin-dependent diabetes.
“Sernova is pleased to be working with Dr. Poznansky, a world renowned expert in understanding and modulating molecular processes of the immune system for therapeutic uses, whose laboratory discovered the novel protectant technology and we are similarly pleased to be working with JDRF and to receive shared support for this work,” said Dr. Philip Toleikis, President and CEO of Sernova Corp.
Islet transplantation represents a potentially durable cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) by replacing the lost beta islet cells with new, functional insulin producing cells. Application of islet transplantation as a treatment for T1D is currently limited by a number of significant obstacles: a very limited availability of transplantable islets derived from human cadaveric donors, the immune destruction of the islets following transplantation and the need for an implantable, scalable and retrievable device for delivering therapeutic cells.
Sernova’s patented Cell Pouch uses biocompatible polymers to develop, highly vascularized subcutaneous tissue chambers for the placement, survival and long term function of islets and other therapeutic cells. Over the past six years, Sernova’s Cell Pouch has demonstrated an excellent safety profile and efficacy benefit in small and large animal models of disease and importantly, in humans with severe diabetes, islets transplanted into the Cell Pouch have been shown to become highly vascularized and able to produce their therapeutic product.
“Sernova’s goal for the treatment of diabetes is to develop a product consisting of our prevascularized, human scaled Cell Pouch which creates an ideal environment for locally immune-protected therapeutic cells from a virtually unlimited source to treat all patients with insulin-dependent diabetes,” added Dr. Toleikis.
“Our collaboration with Sernova is designed to address the obstacles of current portal vein islet transplantation by combining a proprietary local immune protectant for transplanted cells from a virtually unlimited source, within a biocompatible device that enhances microvessel formation and thereby oxygen supply to the graft,” said Dr. Poznansky. He continued, “this combination is designed to unlock the potential of advanced therapeutic cell treatment that could meet the needs of the growing population of patients with diabetes.”
“We see Sernova’s approach to treating diabetes with its prevascularized implantable Cell Pouch™ using virtually unlimited cell sources that are locally protected from the immune system as being directly aligned with the research emphasis of JDRF and look forward to the results from the collaboration with Dr. Poznansky,” said Dr. Albert Hwa, JDRF’s Director of Discovery Research.
Sernova Corp is a clinical stage regenerative medicine company developing medical technologies for the treatment of chronic debilitating metabolic diseases such as diabetes, blood disorders including hemophilia and other diseases treated through replacement of proteins or hormones missing or in short supply within the body. Sernova is developing the Cell Pouch(TM), an implantable medical device for therapeutic cells (donor, xenogeneic or stem cell derived therapeutic cells) which then release proteins and/or hormones as required.
For further information contact:
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Tel: (604) 818-7778
Forward Looking Information
This release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “expects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “projects”, “potential” and similar expressions, or that events or conditions “will”, “would”, “may”, “could” or “should” occur. Although Sernova believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements. Forward-looking statements, which include our beliefs about the functionality of the Cell Pouch and our expectations of the potential benefits of the research collaboration, are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of Sernova’s management on the date such statements were made. Sernova expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers in more than 100 locations throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.