Healthcare Industry News:  RNAi therapeutic 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - February 9, 2006

Benitec Appoints Two New Directors

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 9 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Benitec Ltd. (ASX: BLT ), a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapeutics, announced today that it has appointed Peter Francis as a Non-executive Director and Michael Catelani as an Executive Director of its Board.

Mr. Peter Francis is a partner at Francis Abourizk Lightowlers (FAL), a firm of commercial and technology lawyers with offices in Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia. He is a legal specialist in the areas of intellectual property and licensing and provides legal advice to a large number of corporations and research bodies. Mr. Francis has extensive experience in technology commercialization and is a founder and Non-executive Director of Boron Molecular Pty Ltd. and a Non-executive Director of Xceed Biotechnology Ltd and PolyNovo Pty Ltd.

Mr. Michael Catelani joined Benitec as its Chief Financial Officer in April 2005 after having served in that capacity as a consultant to the company since January 2005. During his tenure at Benitec, Mr. Catelani has been instrumental in developing and executing strategic objectives such as fundraising, operational and financial consolidation, compliance, and corporate governance, as well as playing a key role in establishing the company's strategic alliance with Sigma-Aldrich. Prior to joining Benitec, Mr. Catelani held senior financial management positions, including Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, at Axon Instruments, a U.S. corporation listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and a leading designer and manufacturer of instrumentation and software systems for the life sciences industry. At Axon, Mr. Catelani played a significant role in the company's merger with Molecular Devices Corporation, a NASDAQ listed company. Mr. Catelani began his professional career at Ernst & Young and is a CPA. He has an MBA from the University of California, Davis.

Ray Whitten, Executive Chairman of Benitec, stated, "I am looking forward to the significant contributions that our newest directors will be making to Benitec. Peter and Mike possess expertise that will be invaluable in further developing and executing Benitec's strategic goals."

About Benitec

Benitec is an international biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics to treat serious diseases using its proprietary RNAi technology. Benitec is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has its operations centered in Mountain View, California, USA. Its lead therapeutic programs are for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Benitec's RNA-based HIV/AIDS therapeutic, co-developed with the Center for Biomedicine & Genetics at the City of Hope in Los Angeles, California, will enter Phase I clinical trials in 2006. Benitec's RNAi therapeutic for HCV will enter clinical trials in 2007. For additional information, please visit

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Companies' current expectations regarding future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including the success of the Companies' research strategy, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies and the uncertainties related to the regulatory process.

Source: Benitec

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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