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Benitec Limited (BLT.AX) (ASX:BLT) Granted Hepatitis C RNA Interference Patent In US


6/18/2010 7:41:32 AM

Melbourne, June 18, 2010 - (ABN Newswire) - Benitec Limited (ASX:BLT) (PINK:BNIKF) are pleased to announce that US Patent 7727970 "Multiple promoter expression cassettes for simultaneous delivery of RNAi agents targeted to Hepatitis C virus" has been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The granted claims cover the use of an RNA interference construct (with multiple promoters) to inhibit the level of Hepatitis C virus in animal cells, tissues and organs. Moreover, the USPTO has granted Benitec an additional 805 days patent term in recognition of the delays in examining the patent application. Additional related applications remain pending to extend the scope of protection.

Benitec has licensed the rights to use this patent for Hepatitis C exclusively to Tacere Therapeutics, Inc., who recently announced that Pfizer has exercised its option to further develop and commercialise Tacere's Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) compounds.

Benitec's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Peter French said, "The grant of this patent is an important further recognition of our dominant global position in the transformational DNA-directed RNA interference field and provides increased depth and breadth to our patent portf olio. Benitec's ddRNAi-related patent estate (solely owned or licensed exclusively for humans from CSIRO) currently comprises over 100 patents and patent applications covering 20 jurisdictions, of which more than 30 are granted, accepted or allowed."

Link: http://www.abnnewswire.net/media/en/docs/63116-ASX-BLT-596073.pdf

About: Benitec Limited

Benitec Limited (ASX:BLT) (PINK:BNIKF) is an Australian biotechnology company focused on licensing its extensive intellectual property portfolio and developing therapeutics to treat serious diseases using its proprietary ddRNAi technology. For additional information, please visit www.benitec.com.

Contact: Mel Bridges Executive Director Mob: +61-413-051-600 Email: mbridges@benitec.com

Peter French Chief Executive Officer Mob: +61-412-457-595 Email: pfrench@benitec.com



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