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Distributed: July 14, 2010

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Melbourne, July 14, 2010 (ABN Newswire) - Benitec Limited (ASX:BLT) (PINK:BNIKF) are pleased to provide this update on the progress of the patent family "Control of Gene Expression" in a number of countries around the world. The "Control of Gene Expression" patents are part of the foundational Graham RNAi patent family.

Following on from the Notice of Allowance issued by the USPTO on 27 January 2010, US patent application 10/646,070 has now been granted as US Patent No. 7754697. This patent is a continuation derived from the Graham '099 patent currently undergoing re-examination in the US (90/007247) and for which a hearing has been set down for 4 August 2010.

This follows on from grant earlier this year of Japanese Patent No. 4460600 which has claims to synthetic genes for silencing target genes in animal cells.

Elsewhere, the Indian, Singaporean and Slovakian Patent Offices have all recently confirmed the allowability of the "Control of Gene Expression" applications in those countries.

The claims of Indian application IN/PCT/2000/00169/DEL, directed to methods of silencing gene expression in vertebrate animal cells by RNA interference using genetic constructs capable of targeting one or more gene sequences in the cell, were allowed after a successful appeal.

The Singaporean application, which has been granted as patent 141233, has claims to synthetic genes which are capable of silencing genes in animal cells and the use of those synthetic genes in silencing methods.

The Slovakian application PP1372-2000 has also recently been allowed. This application also has claims to synthetic genes which are capable of silencing genes in mammalian cells, together with a claim to a composition comprising the synthetic gene.

"Benitec and CSIRO are delighted to have made such good progress with this family of applications, and consider allowance of them to be a validation of their value in the field of RNAi therapeutics. We remain committed to achieving allowance of the other pending applications in this family, and look forward to further successes around the world with this important family of applications" said Dr Peter French, Chief Executive Officer, Benitec Ltd."


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About Benitec Limited

Benitec Limited (ASX:BLT) (PINK:BNIKF) holds a dominant position in expressed RNA interference (RNAi)-based human therapeutics, with a transformational platform technology supported by a robust and extensive intellectual property portfolio. Benitec is leveraging this platform to develop and build a pipeline of expressed RNAi therapeutics focusing on treatment and alleviation of cancer and infectious disease. With strong global partnerships and committed scientific and clinical investigators, Benitec Ltd aims to deliver a range of novel RNAi-based therapeutics to the clinic in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry.

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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