Vancouver-based biotech company looking to capitalize on $10 billion global market for skin lighteners.
Vancouver, B.C. & Paris, France – November 22, 2011 – Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX-V: SBM, OTC: SRBCF, Frankfurt: ZSB) today announced that its French subsidiary, TFChem, has received a major funding grant of CDN$1.9 million from the French government. The funds will be used to advance the organization’s depigmenting agent development project.
The $1.9-million grant was provided by France’s Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry. TFChem is currently developing a potentially new safe and effective depigmenting agent that can be used in creams and other cosmetic applications to lighten and evenly tone skin.
“These funds will allow our team to bring our depigmenting agent to a commercially-ready stage,” said Dr. Howard Verrico, CEO of Sirona Biochem. “The grant is also a testament to the quality of Sirona’s chemistry technology and its application to the multi-billion dollar cosmeceutical industry.”
The global market for skin brighteners is rapidly growing, with Japan leading demand for this cosmetic segment. By 2012, sales of skin lightening products are estimated to reach $2 billion in the Asia Pacific region alone. Experts estimate that the market will exceed $10 billion globally by 2015.
Skin lightening products are also a fast emerging market in North America and Europe where demand has been mainly driven by a desire to reverse sun damage, treat skin-related diseases such as vitiligo and to minimize the appearance of sun spots and freckles.
TFChem has assembled a consortium of partners dedicated to advancing the company’s depigmenting agent. The consortium – which includes the University of Rouen, contract research organization Biogalénys and Sirona Biochem’s subsidiary, TFChem – will split the grant funding based on specific guidelines set out by the French government. Funds will be distributed by the French government over the remainder of the project, which is expected to span three years.
The French government is looking to promote and initiate collaborative projects that are focused on the development of new products and services containing a high level of innovation. Projects must involve one or several competitiveness clusters.
TFChem’s project involves Cosmetic Valley – an innovation cluster located just west of Paris, France that is dedicated to the research and development of innovative cosmetic products.
About Sirona Biochem Corp.
Sirona Biochem is a biotechnology company developing diabetes and obesity therapeutics, cancer vaccine antigens, cosmeceuticals and biological ingredients. The company utilizes a proprietary chemistry technique to improve pharmaceutical properties of our carbohydrate-based molecules. For more information visit www.sironabiochem.com.
This project is cofinanced by the European Union. Europe witnesses in Haute-Normandie with the support of European Regional Development Fund (E.R.D.F.).
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