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Benitec Implements Cost Reductions

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Benitec Ltd. has announced that it has implemented a cost reduction plan within its US subsidiary in order to preserve capital while continuing to progress its drug development programs.

Benitec has reduced its workforce by 50%, anticipating a nearly US$100,000 monthly savings.

The Company has implemented further expense reductions associated with its drug development programs as well as significantly reducing its facilities costs, resulting in an additional US$250,000 monthly savings.

The Company expects these cost reduction measures to result in a 50% decrease in monthly spending levels, representing approximately US$4 million on an annualized basis.

Peter Francis, Chairman of Benitec, stated, "The Directors recognize that Benitec does not currently have the required levels of capital to continue funding a US drug development business at the rate of expenditure to date."

"However, we believe that Benitec has two primary value drivers: its robust intellectual property portfolio and its drug development programs, and we will seek to develop these two assets, whether separately or together while seeking to preserve Benitec’s cash reserves, in the best interests of our shareholders."

Sara Cunningham, Benitec CEO, stated, "While these cost reductions will somewhat slow our development timelines in the short-term, we have retained our core scientific team and have thus preserved the current value of our Hepatitis C and HIV drug development programs."

"Given the tremendous excitement and investment in RNAi, from the pharmaceutical industry and through private and public equity, we will seek to capture the full value of our core assets creatively yet prudently."