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Sernova Corp: Challenging Old Paradigms – Leading the Future of Diabetes Treatment.

To quote electronic artists Klaypex ‘We are the New Kids now, We are the Future’

Klaypex: Johnny Atar, Mark Emmanuel and Alan Notkin, residing in LA. 

While listening to the words, in Klaypex’s new song New Kids, off the EP ‘Future’

we are the new kids now we are the future we are the chosen one’s

This message resonated as we are excited to share with you Canada’s bioscience tech company in the forefront of changing the paradigm of treatment for diabetes and other serious chronic diseases…


For those of you with, or who have family or friends struggling to manage type I and type II diabetes, there is a ‘new kid’ in town, Sernova Corp, (SVA.V) a London, Ontario regenerative medicine company that after six years of work just transformed itself by announcing it had secured commercial rights to a UHN (University Health Network) glucose responsive insulin producing ethically derived stem cell technology for the future treatment of diabetes.

Improving the Quality of Life for
Patients with Chronic Diseases

Why is this news so exciting and what is Sernova‘s therapeutic approach?

Diabetes Statistics

In the U.S., there are an estimated 21 million diagnosed cases of diabetes, and an additional eight million undiagnosed cases of diabetes, according to recent statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control. The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) projects approximately 387 million people worldwide are currently suffering from the disease, with that figure expected to jump to nearly 600 million by 2035.   Almost pandemic in stature, the IDF estimates that one in nine dollars spent on healthcare worldwide goes towards the treatment of diabetes. That figure is poised to increase significantly over the coming years as diagnostics improve. It’s currently estimated that only about half of those suffering from diabetes are diagnosed with the disease – with improved diagnosis the realized numbers will rise significantly putting even more burden on the health care system,  requiring a better treatment than the current insulin injections delivered by needles from syringes or pumps.
Diabetes: A significant and growing healthcare problem, in Canada, the U.S. and around the world.

What does this mean?   

Since the standard of care for diabetes has essentially remained unchanged for almost 60 years with patients working 24 hours a day to balance their blood sugar levels with insulin injections given by needle syringe or glucose pump, to minimize the terrible side effects of the disease including blindness, heart and kidney disease and amputations,  Sernova has been quietly working behind the scenes composing a solution that could significantly improve the lives of people with diabetes.Diabetes: A large and growing problem, here in Canada, in the U.S. and around the world.

The Cell Pouch(tm)

Sernova’s approach is to treat diabetes using a small implantable medical device called the Cell Pouch(tm) which is placed under the skin. The device a ‘business card-size’ and after implantation, forms natural tissue chambers lined with microvessels for the placement of therapeutic cells. One can look at the device like a space shuttle that when docked securely inside the body, held by tissue and micro-vessels can carry cellular payloads which release critical proteins or hormones into the bloodstream to treat chronic diseases such as diabetes and even hemophilia.  In its initial tests in humans support by strong preclinical safety and efficacy results, the device alone and with cells has been shown to be safe.

While the initial tests in humans are using human donor islets which normally control blood sugar levels in the pancreas Sernova’s future holds a product that involves the combination of the glucose responsive insulin producing stem cell derived cells protected from the immune attack placed into the Cell Pouch(tm) where the cells are expected to read blood sugar levels and release insulin appropriately into the blood stream.

The importance of these cells is that they can be produced for as many patients as required, unlike the limited supply of donor cells.   For patients with diabetes, this would conceptually replace their tiny islet cells within the pancreas which have died, or are simply not performing their important function.

Imagine the day for patients with diabetes when their sugar levels are controlled by a cellular approach, eliminating the requirement for needle injections or bulky electronic pumpt. If Sernova’s technology proves safe and efficacious through clinical testing and receives eventual approval by the regulatory authorities, this could become a real possibility.

Disruptive, intelligent and forward thinking – Sernova’s Cell Pouch(tm) can be viewed as an ‘artificial pancreas’.

We chased down Sernova CEO and main man Dr Philip Toleikis;  who circumnavigates the globe, creating the driving force behind this company to share with us a quote:


“We believe that Sernova has the potential to provide a significant break-through in the quality of treatment for the millions of people suffering from insulin-dependent diabetes,” said Dr. Toleikis.

“Such individuals could essentially be liberated from their current onerous daily regime of multiple blood glucose testing and insulin administration delivered through injections or electronic means which is expected to materially improve their quality of life, prevent or reduce abnormal glucose complications, and reduce short term and longer term health care costs.”

words by | Deanna Beaudoin

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