VANCOUVER, CANADA: Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX-V: SBM), an emerging biotech company focused on diabetes and obesity, says critical testing of SGLT inhibitor molecules is proceeding as planned with ‘positive indications’.
Sirona Biochem CEO, Dr. Howard Verrico, said “I can report to shareholders that we are in the middle of the testing phase and our proprietary testing protocol is working as planned. This is a critical phase for us and, while no hard scientific conclusions can be drawn until the testing is finished, it is fair to say we are seeing positive indications in this first phase.
“In general, independent research studies continue to confirm that developing a way to block or limit the body’s re-uptake of excess sugars is a highly valid strategy for Sirona Biochem in the fight against these diseases. Strong evidence developed at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), and elsewhere, shows that sugary drinks, in particular, are an important contributor to the epidemic rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the United States.”
Dr. Verrico said management of sugar metabolism is a primary medical challenge associated with treating diabetes and obesity.
Walter Willett, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition at HSPH has stated "The scientific evidence is now clear; soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are important contributors to obesity in children and adults."
According to another study, soft drinks and processed foods are the leading sources of added sugars in the U.S. diet. The increase in the prevalence of diabetes and obesity in the US has coincided with a 61 percent increase in the consumption of soft drinks by adults, and a doubling in consumption by children and adolescents between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s.
Dr. Verrico said “The mounting evidence has convinced us that our strategy of developing compounds that will block, or seriously lower the re-uptake of glucose, is the right drug development strategy. Of course, as a doctor, I would advocate prevention as being better than a cure, so societal focus must emphasize healthy diets and the elimination of major sources of excess sugars as being the best way of lowering the risk of diabetes and obesity, along with adequate exercise.”
Sirona Biochem owns the worldwide product rights to a library of unique sodium glucose transporter (SGLT) inhibitors to treat diabetes and obesity. SGLT inhibitors block the reuptake of excess sugars from urine which can then help reduce high blood sugar to normal levels.
Americans consume sugary beverages in staggering amounts. On a typical day, four out of five children and two out of three adults drink sugar-sweetened beverages. Teen boys drink more than a quart of sugary drinks, on average, every day.
23.6 million people, or 7.8% of the population of the United States, have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 17.9 million people
Undiagnosed: 5.7 million people
Cases of diabetes doubled from 1990 to 2005.
The incidence of type 2 in adolescents has increased 10 times over the last decade.
It now constitutes just under a third of new pediatric diabetes cases (it was 2% 20 years ago).
(February 2009 DACG.ORG)
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. Recognizing the potential for a new blockbuster market, major pharmaceutical companies have increasingly focused on obesity and its causes and, in the process, seeking to identify many potential targets and pathways that could be exploited to create novel therapies.
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About Sirona Biochem
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. www.sironabiochem.
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