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Distributed: Nov 8, 2010

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Melbourne, Nov 8, 2010 (ABN Newswire) - Benitec Limited (ASX:BLT) (PINK:BNIKF), the , the leading company in expressed gene silencing for human therapeutics, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued an official Notice of Intent to Issue an Ex Parte Re-examination Certificate for US Patent 6,573,099 ("the '099 Graham Patent"), the wide-ranging platform technology patent covering the use of expressed RNAi in human therapeutic applications.

This Notice formally closes the long-running re-examination proceedings on this patent. The Ex Parte Re-examination Certificate will be issued shortly.

Benitec's CEO, Dr Peter French, welcomed the Notice. "The long re-examination process reflects the importance of this patent in the global field of gene silencing using RNA interference. This Notice, and other previously announced patent developments, clear the way for us to leverage our dominant patent estate globally in expressed RNA interference," he said.

"We are continuing to advance a broad pipeline of expressed RNAi-based therapeutic programs in oncology and infectious disease with particular focus on hepatitis B, lung cancer and cancer-associated neuropathic pain," Dr French added.

Benitec has exclusive rights to key claims in expressed RNAi for humans in most major jurisdictions including the US, the UK, Japan and China.

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), which has exclusively licensed the patent to Benitec for human therapeutics, also welcomed the Notice. "CSIRO is very pleased to see that this important patent will be reissued so that the potential therapeutic benefits of this transformational technology can be realised," commented Ms Jan Bingley, General Manager, IP and Licensing - CSIRO Operations.


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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

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


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