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Stand-in CEO insists that Sirona Biochem hasn’t lost its focus

By Andrew McDougall+

24-Jul-2014
Last updated on 24-Jul-2014 at 16:25 GMT

Sirona Biochem announces it will continue to focus on the skin care market and develop new active ingredients for the cosmetics market, and will be unaffected by its change in management.

Last month company CEO Neil Belenkie resigned from the company and with Howard Verrico taking up the role.

The Canadian company has been working on the development of many new active ingredients, one of which was with global manufacturer L’Oréal on Antarctic fish, and Verrico states that this will still be the case.

“I can assure you we are moving along on all initiatives as planned,” Verrico states in an open letter.

Change of plan

When it comes to plans that were in the pipeline prior to Belenkie’s resignation, there have been a few changes, however.

In February this year, Sirona announced the completion of a $1.2M private placement, which was originally expected to be followed up with a US-led investment of approximately $4 million.

However, this initiative was abandoned since terms did not meet the new vision for the direction of the company, with Verrico underlining that Sirona is unwilling to settle for terms that it feels create risk to the current shareholder value.

The new boss states that there are financing needs to be taken into consideration over the next 12-18 months, but that this should not raise concern, especially as there appears to be heightened interest from European investors.

R&D focus

The current R&D focus is to manufacture and monetize its skin lightener as planned with Obagi/ Valeant, and develop the anti-aging library of compounds in anticipation of government funding and commencement of pre-clinical studies.

“Sirona Biochem remains committed to a streamlined business strategy of chemistry, patent and license,” says Verrico.

“Our expertise remains in creating new chemical compounds (pharmaceutical and cosmetic) that have distinct advantages over existing technologies. Each compound that we create will be licensed to an industry-leading company who will be responsible for developing, manufacturing and selling the compound.”

Verrico adds that the value of Sirona lies in its technology and the intention is to put resources behind this and create shareholder value.

He believes that Sirona is well positioned to take advantage of some of the major opportunities that are available and is working to take the company to the next level.

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