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Benitec

Benitec said that it has also re-obtained a royalty stream paid by Sigma-Aldrich stemming from a license to its expressed RNAi technology for use in making and selling research products.

Under the amended deal, Benitec will no longer pay CSIRO royalties, while CSIRO gets a 10 percent stake in the company.

In its annual report, the company also tried to assuage investor concerns over an ongoing re-examination of its core US patent, stating that its continued efforts to defend the intellectual property's validity reflect its confidence in a successful outcome of the proceedings.

The company said it is working with the City of Hope to investigate the vector-based delivery of an anti-HIV RNA cocktail composed of pHIV7, an shRNA targeting an exon in HIV-1 tat/rev, and a Tar decoy.

The company said it has signed a term sheet for an option to license patent applications related to knocking down beta III-tubulin using RNAi, an approach that has been shown to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy.

The companies have now “put together the final project plan, budgets, and agreements” for the HBV effort, according to Benitec’s CEO.

The allowed patent covers the use of multiple-promoter expression cassettes for simultaneous delivery of RNAi. Separately, the Aussie shop said the USPTO won’t likely decide a company appeal until the third quarter of next year.

While most companies working in the RNAi drugs field have been able to secure the money needed to maintain operations, a number of players in the space have bowed out under unfavorable circumstances.

People in the News: Aug 6, 2009

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Peter French, Peter Garcia

The companies intend to share product-development and commercialization responsibilities for any drugs resulting from the partnership.

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