Melbourne, Dec 13, 2010 (ABN Newswire) - Benitec Limited (ASX:BLT) (PINK:BNIKF) is pleased to announce that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a Communication of Intent to Grant on application 2005 727 680 "Multiple promoter expression cassettes for simultaneous delivery of RNAi agents". The claims cover the use of an RNA interference construct (with multiple promoters) to inhibit the level of Hepatitis C virus in cells, tissues and organs. Additional related applications remain pending to extend the scope of protection, including constructs having single promoters.

Benitec has licensed the rights to use this patent for Hepatitis C exclusively to Tacere Therapeutics, Inc., who are working with Pfizer to further develop and commercialise Tacere's Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) compounds.

Tacere Therapeutics' Chief Executive Officer Sara Hall Renison stated "We are very pleased with the news from the EPO. Benitec has been a strong ally in developing this and other patent families, and Tacere and Pfizer look forward to continuing clinical development of this first-in-class drug".

Benitec's Chief Executive Officer Dr Peter French said, "The intention of the EPO to grant this patent is an important addition to our already broad and robust patent portfolio in RNAi, and complements the patents already granted for this work in the United States, Australia and New Zealand."

Contact

Peter French
Chief Executive Officer
Benitec Limited
Tel: +61-412-457-595
http://www.benitec.com



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