Skip to main content

Benitec to Collaborate with Stanford University on Pain Drug


Benitec Biopharma this week said that it is collaborating with Stanford University to test its expressed RNAi-based neuropathic pain treatment, called Nervarna, in vivo.

Nervarna is designed to inhibit protein kinase C gamma, which plays a role in various cellular signaling pathways. Benitec aims to initially develop the drug for use in terminally ill cancer patients.

Through the newly announced collaboration, Stanford researcher David Yeomans will test the agent in a spared-nerve injury model. Benitec CEO Peter French said in a statement that data generated from the experiments, if positive, will lay the groundwork for clinical testing of Nervarna in 2013.

This timeline represents an improvement from previous company guidance, provided in June, putting the drug on track to enter human testing in early 2014 (GSN 6/21/2012).

French added that the data are also expected to support Benitec's efforts to secure a pharmaceutical industry partner for the pain program.

The Scan

US Supports Patent Waivers

NPR reports that the Biden Administration has announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Vaccines Versus Variants

Two studies find the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be effective against viral variants, and Moderna reports on booster shots to combat variants.

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.