Melbourne,(ABN Newswire) - Benitec Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China based Biomics Biotechnologies Co. Ltd. The companies will collaborate on a DNA directed or vector expressed RNAi for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
We are delighted that the scientific teams at Benitec Ltd and Biomics will be working together on this Hepatitis B initiative. Biomics was founded by Dr. York Zhu and, since its foundation in 2006, Biomics has grown to be a leading Asian RNAi therapeutics company with combined technology platforms of full-sites siRNA library, drug targets screening and identification, siRNA structure modification and drug delivery systems said Sue MacLeman, Chief Executive Officer, Benitec Limited.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the leading causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Current treatment strategies of HBV infection including the use of interferon (IFN)-a and nucleotide analogues such as lamivudine and adefovir have met with only partial success. Therefore, it is necessary to develop more effective antiviral therapies that can clear HBV infection with fewer side effects. DNA directed RNA interference (ddRNAi or vector expressed RNAi) has the potential of treating HBV infection, she added.
The first step in this collaboration will be for the scientific teams to develop a project plan for target identification and validation. Once this target is validated it will undergo preclinical testing before moving to early stage clinical trials. The companies will jointly share in intellectual property developed during this project and will also jointly collaborate in product development and commercialisation.
We are pleased to be working with Benitec Ltd on this important global health problem. Hepatitis B is one of the major diseases of mankind and is a serious global public health problem. It is estimated that about one-third of the global population - around 2 billion people - have been infected with the hepatitis B virus at some stage in their lifetime. Of these, about 360 million people remain chronically infected carriers of the disease - most of them unaware they are infected but capable of spreading the disease to others said Dr York Zhu, Chief Executive Officer, Biomics Biotechnologies Co. Ltd.