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Benitec Acquires Option from City of Hope to License IP Related to Second HIV Program

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Australia's Benitec said this week that it has obtained an option from the City of Hope to license intellectual property related to an RNA-based HIV treatment.

According to the company, 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 effort is expect to move into phase I testing in the fourth quarter.

Under the City of Hope deal, Benitec has the option to license two US patents and three patent applications, as well as all foreign equivalents. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Benitec noted that the HIV program is independent of one using a similar approach to treat AIDS-related lymphoma, which is currently in phase I testing (see RNAi News, 6/14/2007).