VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA and PARIS, FRANCE--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2011) - Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SBM)(OTCBB: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 Biogalenys 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.).
Sirona Biochem cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based upon current expectations and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of release of the relevant information, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, Sirona Biochem's forward-looking statements due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Sirona Biochem's business including, without limitation, statements about: the progress and timing of its clinical trials; difficulties or delays in development, testing, obtaining regulatory approval, producing and marketing its products; unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of its products that could delay or prevent product development or commercialization; the scope and validity of patent protection for its products; competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; and its ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. Sirona Biochem does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required by law.Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.