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CombiMatrix and Benitec Enter Cross-Licensing Agreement for siRNA, HIV Sequences

NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (GenomeWeb News) - CombiMatrix and Benitec announced yesterday that they have entered into a cross-licensing agreement covering a variety of projects.

Through the agreement, CombiMatrix will issue a non-exclusive license to Benitec for its intellectual property rights related to the use of pools of siRNAs, or cocktails, as therapeutic agents against viral diseases.

Benitec will also share a sublicense with CombiMatrix to two key HIV gene sequences that CombiMatrix has licensed exclusively from irsiCaixa, a Spanish genomic research center.

In return, CombiMatrix will receive access to Benitec's portfolio of 10 issued and 60 pending patents that the Muliteo,Wash.-based array company will use in developing RNAi therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of diseases and injuries that may strike humans in a biological, chemical, or radioactive attack.

CombiMatrix has received nearly $8 million in funding in the past two years from the US Department of Defense for the development of biothreat detection technology.

CombiMatrix and Benitec said they plan to expand upon the collaboration in the future, and Benitec plans to use CombiMatrix CustomArrays to study possible off-target effects of RNAi therapeutics, the companies said.

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