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Benitec, Biomics Advance HBV Partnership

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Benitec and its Chinese partner Biomics Biotechnologies have agreed to advance their collaboration to develop an expressed RNAi treatment for hepatitis B.

The companies began working together on the program in mid-2009, and finalized the arrangement a few months later (GSN 7/16/2009 & 9/9/2010). The first stage of the alliance identified target RNA sequences capable of blocking HBV replication, Benitec said.

Now, the partners aim to conduct proof-of-principle studies to optimize a preclinical drug candidate, a process expected to take around 18 months.

According to Benitec, the firms have agreed to share development costs, ownership of related intellectual property, and commercialization rights based on “an agreed division of territories.” Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.