Sernova Corp. Announces CEO Succession Plan and Expanded Management Team

The Company is recruiting a new CEO for its next stage of growth - Dr. Toleikis, President and CEO, to transition to Chief Technology Officer upon new appointment

London, Ontario, CANADA


LONDON, Ontario, Dec. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sernova Corp. (Sernova) (TSX:SVA) (OTCQB:SEOVF) (FSE/XETRA:PSH), a clinical-stage company and leader in cell therapeutics, announced today that, as part of a planned leadership succession process, and after a successful 13-year tenure leading the Company through the development of its pioneering Cell Pouch System™ and ensuing growth, Dr. Philip Toleikis, President and Chief Executive Officer will be appointed Sernova’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO). To achieve a seamless transition and continue progress on all Company activities, Dr. Toleikis will remain in the CEO role during the search period and continue to work closely with Executive Chair, Frank Holler. Mr. Holler will, in particular, take a leadership role and work closely with Dr. Toleikis in advancing Sernova’s business development and corporate finance activities during the search period.

“On behalf of the board, I am very grateful for the substantial contributions made by Dr. Toleikis to the Company’s growth and success over the years,” said Frank Holler, Executive Chair. “Philip has played a pivotal role in strategically advancing Sernova’s CPS platform to become one of the world’s most prominent cell therapy platforms and a leader in the development of cell therapy treatments for insulin- dependent diabetes. With the Company’s anticipated next phase of growth in US capital markets, it is a natural time to recruit a new CEO. Dr. Toleikis has endorsed this transition plan as it will enable him to focus on accelerating the further development of the Cell Pouch System.”

Dr. Philip Toleikis joined Sernova in 2009. Under his leadership, the Company has achieved remarkable interim results in its ongoing Phase 1/2 type 1 diabetes (T1D) clinical trial, expanded the capabilities of its CPS platform via technology acquisitions, and significantly bolstered its balance sheet.

“It has been an absolute privilege to lead Sernova from the initial concept of cell therapy as a means of achieving a potential functional cure for chronic diseases, to the development and refinement of our Cell Pouch System, and now the reality of long-term diabetic patients achieving insulin independence in our current US Phase 1/2 clinical study,” said, Dr. Toleikis “Furthermore, our recent global strategic partnership with Evotec is transformative because it provides the potential for Sernova to treat millions of insulin-dependent diabetic patients with scalable, best-in-class, iPSC-derived islet cells. I am very proud of the Company’s achievements to date, and I look forward to working closely with the new CEO. I am delighted to continue working with our extraordinary team, and the best-in-class leadership within, to advance Sernova to the next level of growth as well as the continued development of Sernova’s cell therapy platform on the world stage.”

The Company has engaged Slone Partners, an executive search firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to assist the Board of Directors in the hiring of the new CEO.

ABOUT SERNOVA CORP. AND THE CELL POUCH SYSTEM PLATFORM FOR CELL THERAPY

Sernova Corp. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is developing its Cell Pouch System, a novel implantable and scalable medical device with immune protected therapeutic cells, for the treatment of chronic diseases such as insulin-dependent diabetes, thyroid disease, and blood disorders that include hemophilia A. On implantation, the Cell Pouch forms a natural vascularized tissue environment in the body for the long-term survival and function of therapeutic cells that release essential factors absent or deficient in patients with certain chronic diseases. Sernova is also advancing a proprietary technology to shield therapeutic cells from immune system attacks with the goal to eliminate the need for chronic, systemic immunosuppression. In May 2022, the Company announced a global strategic partnership with Evotec, providing Sernova with a potentially unlimited supply of insulin-producing islet cells to treat patients with insulin-dependent diabetes (type 1 and type 2). Sernova continues to progress additional development programs utilizing its Cell Pouch System: a cell therapy for hypothyroid disease resulting from thyroid gland removal and an ex-vivo lentiviral Factor VIII gene therapy for hemophilia A.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Corporate: Investors: Media:
Christopher Barnes
VP, Investor Relations
Sernova Corp.
christopher.barnes@sernova.com
Tel: 519-902-7923
www.sernova.com
Corey Davis, Ph.D.
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
cdavis@lifesciadvisors.com
Tel: 212-915-2577

Elizabeth Miller, M.D.
LifeSci Communications
emiller@lifescicomms.com
Tel: 646-791-9705

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

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.sedar.com 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.