VANCOUVER, CANADA: Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX-V: SBM), an emerging biotech company focused on diabetes and obesity, announced today the first major appointment to its Scientific Advisory Board, patent lawyer Jacques Warcoin, CEO of Cabinet Regimbeau in Paris, France.
M. Warcoin filed the first biotechnology patent in France 31 years ago and heads up a 180-person patent law firm in Paris. At the heart of his success is the belief that you ‘have to stay on top of the science until your retirement.’
Sirona Biochem CEO, Dr. Howard Verrico, said, “It would be fair to say that M. Warcoin is a true top gun in the world of patent law in Europe with lots of experience negotiating licensing deals with Big Pharma and making a significant impact in biotechnology through his outstanding legal expertise. For instance, he was at the very heart of the fierce opposition in Europe when the European Patent Office (‘EPO’) granted an American company, a monopoly for the genetic diagnosis of breast cancer. He was able to get this patent revoked in June 2004 by the EPO’s Opposition Division to the joy of many who felt the original patent had gone way too far with patenting living material.”
M. Warcoin, who also graduated as a chemical engineer, from Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Toulouse, has been closely involved in the development of the French biotechnology sector since the late 1970’s and he is highly experienced in litigation related to biology and pharmaceutical field. He is a worldwide recognized expert and regularly speaks at conferences and seminars on the subject of the patentability of living organisms.
“Simply stated, Sirona Biochem is incredibly fortunate to have a truly world class patenting lawyer advising the company. Strong intellectual property is absolutely crucial for adding substantial value, especially when, as we hope will happen, Big Pharma starts taking a substantive interest and looks to vigorously assess claimed value,” stated Dr. Verrico.
Sirona Biochem owns the worldwide product rights to a library of unique sodium glucose transporter (SGLT) inhibitors to treat diabetes and obesity. SGLT inhibitors help block the reuptake of excess sugars which can then reduce high blood sugar to normal levels.
Dr. Verrico said management of sugar metabolism is a primary medical challenge associated with treating diabetes and obesity and that is why SGLT inhibitors show such promise in this regard.
Sirona Biochem has a strategic partnership with TFChem, a drug discovery company based in Rouen, France. TFChem licenses its technology of fluorinated carbohydrate mimics: GlycoMim®, and products in development, to biotech companies. This strategic partnership was completed by a detailed research and licence agreement signed on September 29, 2008.
Cabinet Regimbeau is a French IP law firm which, for more than 75 years, has been assisting companies and private research organizations to protect, enhance and defend their innovations and creations. Ten partners head a team of 180 people whose skills are put into practice in every strategic aspect of intellectual property. Regimbeau’s strong uniform presence, with offices in Paris, Lyon, Rennes and Grenoble, means that it can support an international strategy while maintaining very high quality personalized relations with its customers, whatever the field of business.
IMPACT OF DIABETES AND OBESITY
23.6 million Americans, or 7.8% of the population, have diabetes. (February 2009 DACG.ORG)
The diabetes drug market reached US$18 billion in 2005, and is expected to increase to $21-25 billion in 2011.
Furthermore, in recent years, obesity has become a major health problem for many post-industrial societies, so much so that in 2004, the United States Health and Human Services declared obesity to be a disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that globally, in 2005, 1.6 billion adults were overweight with at least 400 million adults obese. By 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and 700 million will be obese. Obesity poses a major health risk because it greatly increases the risk of co-morbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and cancer.
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Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX: V – SBM) is an emerging biotech company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel drug compounds. The current focus is on treatments for Type II diabetes and obesity. Sirona has entered into a license agreement with TFChem S.A.R.L., a drug discovery company based in Rouen, France. TFChem licenses its technology of fluorinated carbohydrate mimics: GlycoMim®, and products in development, to biotech companies. The license agreement with TFChem provides for research and development of new compounds known as SGLT Inhibitors. SGLT inhibitors are a new and exciting class of compounds that have great promise and potential to treat both diabetes and obesity.
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