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Benitec Biopharma’s shares ride higher after securing new U.S. patent

Research activities progressing towards new treatment options for hepatitis B.

a doctor sitting in front of a computer
patented gene-silencing technology

Benitec Biopharma Ltd’s (ASX:BLT) shares closed 20% higher on Wednesday after securing a new patent related to its hepatitis B program in the U.S.

The biotechnology company is developing innovative therapeutics based on its patented gene-silencing technology called ddRNAi (or expressed RNAi).

The grant of this U.S. patent is an important addition to Benitec’s intellectual property portfolio and provides protection for advanced stage research activities towards new treatments for hepatitis B.

Benitec has also licensed ddRNAi to other biopharmaceutical companies for applications including HIV/AIDS, Huntington's Disease, chronic neuropathic pain and cancer immunotherapy.

The ddRNAi-based therapeutics are also used for chronic and life-threatening human conditions, including OPMD, head & neck squamous cell carcinoma, retinal based diseases and hepatitis B.

Worldwide, 2 billion people (1 out of 3 people) have been infected with hepatitis B virus and 400 million people have become chronically infected, including 1 to 2 million people in the U.S.

An estimated 1 million people die each year from hepatitis B and its complications worldwide with about 5,000 of those in the U.S.

The company’s shares closed at $0.18 on Wednesday.

Quick facts: Benitec Biopharma

Price: 0.043 AUD

Market: ASX
Market Cap: $13.46 m

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