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Benitec Receives Notice of Allowance from USPTO on Expressed RNAi Application

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Benitec said this week that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued the company a notice of allowance on a patent application covering its core expressed RNAi technology.

The application, No. 20040266005, is entitled “Synthetic Genes and Genetic Constructs,” and claims “novel synthetic genes and genetic constructs which are capable of repressing, delaying, or otherwise reducing the expression of an endogenous gene or a target gene in an organism,” according to its abstract.

According to Benitec, the claims in the application are “complementary” to those contained within its core US patent No. 6,573,099.

That patent claims the knockdown of gene expression using DNA that transcribes double-stranded RNA, and was one of the first US patents in the RNAi field. As part of a protracted legal battle with now-defunct expressed RNAi drug shop Nucleonics, the '099 patent was invalided by the USPTO.

However, the agency reversed its ruling late last year (GSN 11/11/2010).

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