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Benitec Licenses RNAi Tech to Circuit for Pain Therapy


NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Benitec Biopharma this week announced that it has licensed its expressed RNAi technology to Circuit Therapeutics for the development of an intractable pain treatment.

The agreement specifically allows Circuit to use Benitec's technology to silence sodium channel v1.7 (Nav1.7, a voltage-gated sodium ion channel that is expressed at the ends of pain-sensing nerves called nociceptors. A number of local anesthetics work by blocking sodium channels.

"A major focus for Circuit has been the development of novel, gene-based therapies to treat intractable pain," Circuit Chairman Fred Moll said in a statement. "Accessing Benitec's [expressed RNAi] approach, we believe will enable the advancement of our programs."

Specific details of the arrangement were not disclosed, but Benitec said it is "broadly in line with previous license agreements and are within expected guidelines for biotech initiatives in the early stage of development."