SYDNEY, Sept. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Benitec Biopharma (ASX: BLT; NASDAQ: BNTCW, NASDAQ: BNTC), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative therapeutics based on its gene silencing technology, DNA-directed RNA interference (ddRNAi), today announced that Peter French, Ph.D., the Company's CEO and Managing Director, was invited to discuss Benitec's ddRNAi technology at The Cambridge Healthtech Institute's (CHI) 13th Annual Discovery on Target Conference in Boston, MA.
Dr. French chaired part of the Gene Therapy Breakthroughs session titled, "Combining Gene Silencing/Editing and Gene Therapy," where he discussed Benitec's core ddRNAi approach, which combines the specificity of gene therapy vectors with the power of RNA interference to produce novel 'single shot' therapies for serious life threatening diseases. The other speakers in this session included professionals from leading medical and academic institutions.
Benitec was also featured during the Conference's symposium on Strategies for Rare Diseases; Update on Scientific Breakthroughs and Novel Approaches, where Dr. French provided an overview of the Company's novel gene silencing and replacement program for treating Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD). OPMD is a late-onset degenerative muscle disorder caused by a mutation in the PABPN1 gene. It is an orphan disease with an estimated prevalence of one in 100,000 people (Europe). Dr. French described Benitec's approach to treating OPMD, which uses ddRNAi technology to simultaneously silence the mutant PABPN1 gene and insert a normal copy of the gene. Benitec has achieved in vivo proof of concept and is planning to advance this program to human clinical studies.
Dr. French stated, "We appreciate the opportunity to highlight our achievements in this field and thank CHI and the organizers of this conference for inviting us to participate and lead this important discussion. As we continue to validate our approach by advancing our lead clinical program, TT-034 for treating hepatitis C, we are proud to be a part of the ongoing scientific dialogue that will help drive further innovation in gene therapy."
More information on CHI's Discovery conference can be found at www.discoveryontarget.com.
About Benitec Biopharma Limited
Benitec Biopharma Limited (ASX: BLT; NASDAQ: BNTCW, NASDAQ: BNTC) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative therapeutics based on its patented gene-silencing technology called ddRNAi or 'expressed RNAi'. Based in Sydney, Australia with labs in Hayward, CA (USA) and collaborators and licensees around the world, the company is developing ddRNAi-based therapeutics for chronic and life-threatening human conditions including hepatitis C and B, wet age-related macular degeneration and OPMD. Benitec has also licensed ddRNAi to other biopharmaceutical companies for applications including HIV/AIDS, Huntington'sDisease, chronic neuropathic pain and retinitis pigmentosa. For further information regarding Benitec and its activities, please contact the persons below, or visit the Benitec website at www.benitec.com.