In Q4 2014, Benitec and 4D Molecular Therapeutics entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement to discover and develop optimized AAV vectors for delivery of proprietary Benitec technology to treat ophthalmic disease indications. 4DMT will deploy its proprietary AAV vector discovery platform, Directed Vector Evolution, to create customized, novel, delivery vectors.
Benitec Biopharma holds the dominant global patent position for expressed RNA interference (also called DNA-directed RNai (ddRNAi)), placing the company in a commanding position for human therapies associated with specific genes and genetic disorders. The use of shRNA for use in humans falls under Benitec’s patent estate. Benitec’s current clinical pipeline is focused on Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, lung cancer and wet Age-related Macular Degeneration, as well as the orphan genetic disease, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. However, ddRNAi technology has potential well beyond these conditions; it could potentially be applied to countless genes in humans and in disease-causing micro-organisms.
Benitec Biopharma was founded in 1997 and has been publicly listed on the ASX since then. The company is headquartered in Sydney, Australia and their premier in-house research facility is located in the Bay Area of San Francisco, CA.