Sernova Corp.

LONDON, Ontario; BOSTON, Massachusetts – TheNewswire - April 25, 2024 – Sernova Corp. (TSX:SVA) (OTC:SEOVF) (FSE/XETRA:PSH), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of regenerative medicine cell therapies for treatment of chronic diseases, today announced the retirement of Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Dr. Philip Toleikis along with progress on strategic transformation efforts including a restructuring of operations and a workforce reduction of approximately 35%.


Commenting on his retirement, Dr. Toleikis said, “It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve Sernova since 2009, initially as the President, CEO and director, and more recently as its CTO. Significant progress has been made and there is exciting work ahead that I am confident will be realized by the team, under the guidance of our CEO, Ms. Pussinen.” Dr. Toleikis further states, “I am pleased to provide continued support to Sernova as a consultant. I am proud of the Company’s advancements towards redefining the way chronic diseases will be treated using a cell therapy-based approach while importantly contributing to improving the lives of those living with chronic diseases.”


“Philip’s contributions to Sernova’s research and development, and fund-raising efforts have been foundational to the Company’s evolution into a next-generation regenerative medicine company,” said Brett Whalen, Chairman of the Sernova Board. “He will leave a company which is well-positioned to foster the next wave of innovations in stem cell therapies. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire company, I would like to thank Dr. Philip Toleikis for his contributions and unwavering dedication to the Company. We wish him all the best for his future.”


As communicated in early April, following a review of the company’s therapeutic pipeline and emerging opportunities for its Cell Pouch system platform technologies, Sernova confirmed key priorities including its lighthouse program in insulin dependent Type 1 Diabetes plus its intention to advance an IND filing for its post-operative hypothyroidism program.  “The pipeline and platform review and associated strategy refresh highlighted several ways by which to optimize financial resources, extending the Company’s cash runway.  We continue to seek ways to raise additional capital to strengthen our financial foundation,” said Cynthia Pussinen, Chief Executive Officer of Sernova.  “In connection with the strategic transformation, we will pause on any new investments into the conformal coating program to reallocate funds.  In parallel, we continue to evaluate alternative approaches to obviate the need for immunosuppressive regimens for our allogeneic therapies.”


Sernova has implemented a plan to fortify the balance sheet and cash position, including a workforce restructuring, representing a key step towards streamlining the organization while ensuring the ability to secure core competencies needed to drive further progress in key clinical and pre-clinical assets.  “Decisions to scale back or to rebalance headcount are extremely difficult.  I want to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to those impacted for their invaluable contributions, dedication to helping patients and impact to furthering the Company’s vision of a future where chronic conditions are no longer insurmountable obstacles”, said Ms. Pussinen.


The Company confirms the completion and closure of all internal investigation efforts, previously announced with respect to its former CFO and potentially a second employee of the Company.  No new findings were revealed and there will be no further action on the matter.  The investigation confirmed that there have been no securities violations and that findings bore no material impact to financial statements and operations.


Lastly, Sernova Director Mr. Bertram von Plettenberg has retired from the Company’s Board, effective April 23rd. “The Board and Management sincerely thank Mr. von Plettenberg for his past year of service to the Company, and wish him well in future endeavors,” said Ms. Pussinen. “The evolution and composition of the Board will continue, as we look to enhance our life sciences industry specific strength, to better serve our patients and shareholders.”




Sernova’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday April 30, 2024 starting at 1:00 PM ET.  The meeting will be conducted virtually, via live webcast and accessible online at https://virtualmeetings.tsxtrust.com/1571.


Please note that this site may not be fully accessible on all internet browsers, and it is advisable to use a browser other than Internet Explorer for optimal experience.  If you are unable to join the meeting through your usual web browser, we suggest trying an alternate browser.  


For investors who wish to submit questions via the TSX Trust portal voting control numbers will be needed.  For attendees who would simply like to listen to the meeting conduct, you can register as a guest.




Sernova Corp. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is developing therapeutic cell technologies for chronic diseases, including insulin-dependent diabetes, thyroid disease, and blood disorders that include hemophilia A. Sernova is currently focused on developing a ‘functional cure’ for insulin-dependent diabetes with its lead technology, the Cell Pouch System, a novel implantable and scalable medical device with immune protected therapeutic cells.


On implantation, The Cell Pouch forms a natural, vascularized tissue environment in the body allowing long-term survival and function of therapeutic cells that release essential factors that are absent or deficient in the bodies of patients with certain chronic diseases. Sernova’s Cell Pouch System has demonstrated its potential to be a ‘functional cure’ for people with T1D in an ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical study at the University of Chicago.


Sernova partnered with Evotec to develop an implantable off-the-shelf iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cells) based islet replacement therapy. This partnership provides Sernova a potentially unlimited supply of insulin-producing cells to treat millions of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes (type 1 and type 2). Sernova’s development pipeline that uses its Cell Pouch System also includes: a cell therapy for hypothyroid disease resulting from thyroid gland removal and an ex vivo lentiviral Factor VIII gene therapy for hemophilia A.




Christopher Barnes

VP, Investor Relations

Sernova Corp.

Tel: +1 519-902-7923

Email: christopher.barnes@sernova.com

Website: www.sernova.com



This release contains statements that, to the extent they are not recitations of historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements” that involve various risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, including, without limitation, statements regarding the prospects, plans, and objectives of the company. Wherever possible, but not always, words such as "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential for" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur are used to identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s beliefs with respect to future events and are based on information currently available to management on the date such statements were made. Many factors could cause Sernova’s actual results, performances or achievements to not be as anticipated, estimated or intended or to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. Such factors could include, but are not limited to, the company’s ability to secure additional financing and licensing arrangements on reasonable terms, or at all; ability to conduct all required preclinical and clinical studies for the company’s Cell Pouch System and or related technologies, including the timing and results of those trials; ability to obtain all necessary regulatory approvals, or on a timely basis; ability to in-license additional complementary technologies; ability to execute its business strategy and successfully compete in the market; and the inherent risks associated with the development of biotechnology combination products generally. Many of the factors are beyond our control, including those caused by, related to, or impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Investors should consult the company’s quarterly and annual filings available on www.sedarplus.ca for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to the forward-looking statements. 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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