Since 1991, the Hepatitis B Foundation has made tremendous strides in making hepatitis B history! Below is a short list of accomplishments; you can read more in our annual reports, which are posted here.
The Hepatitis B Foundation launched the first global registry of discrimination against people living with hepatitis B in May. The primary means for collecting patients’ accounts will be the Foundation's brief online survey, which will be supplemented over time with patient interviews. Please read more here.
Our 30th Anniversary Celebration began officially with the annual Crystal Ball Gala in April. A highlight of the event was a video that told the story of the organization’s founding and growth, with comments from the founders themselves. Please see more here.
The Foundation’s work with the House Appropriations Committee led to huge wins across the NIH, National Cancer Institute, CDC and the HHD Office of the Secretary. At the recommendation of the Foundation, the House Appropriations Committee added language that directly leads to increased research, more vaccination awareness, and efforts to address discrimination based on hepatitis B status. Please see more here.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation continued to serve people living with hepatitis B and their caregivers worldwide by providing consultation via phone, email and social media. Our team did 9,388 consults in 2020, including an 18% increase in social media consults. We also saw 2.4 million website visits. Please read more here.
In ccoperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, we hosted an Externally Led Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meeting in June that was focused on hepatitis B, which is the first time a PFDD session was dedicated to that disease. We were approved by the FDA to organize and conduct the meeting, which was online only due to COVID-19, making it the first exclusively in this format since the agency began holding PFDD meetings in 2012.
- The Blocks received the AASLD’s inaugural Distinguished Advocacy Service Award, which “recognizes service provided to the hepatology community over an extended period that raises awareness or garners public and federal legislative support and promotes liver health and quality patient care.
- HBF leads the national Coalition Against Hepatitis in People of African Origin (CHIPO founded in 2012), a community coalition of organizations to address the high rates of hepatitis B infection among African communities in the U.S.
- In August 2019, HBF convened the Princeton Workshop, a prestigious annual meeting bringing together some of the world’s thought leaders for highly focused discussions on strategies to treat hepatitis B and liver cancer.
- HBF was instrumental in creating the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators committed to addressing viral hepatitis A, B and C. Since 2014, HBF has organized an annual Hepatitis B Hill Day, bringing up to 80 patient and provider advocates to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators and discuss the need to prioritize hepatitis B and liver cancer. Our most Hep B Hill Day in July 2019 brought 73 participants, including 20 patient storytellers.
- Our Scientific and Medical Advisory Board made a formal recommendation that all Americans be tested for hepatitis B infection, in order to achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ambitious goal of eliminating hepatitis B by the year 2030.
- Began collaboration with the CDC to create a broad scale educational initiative to promote hepatitis B awareness and testing for African immigrants across the US. This exciting project is the first of its kind to provide targeted materials to often-overlooked African immigrant communities.
- Successfully advocated for increased federal research opportunities for hepatitis B through NIH and DOD. This led to new targeted grants opportunities and an increase in grant proposals focusing on hepatitis B.
- Hep B United Philadelphia coalition, led by HBF, educated over 2,000 people, screened 150, and linked 90% of infected individuals to care.
- Four of the Blumberg Institute's promising research findings moved into clinical trials in 2018, including two for hepatitis B treatment, one for cancer treatment and one for cancer detection
- HBF published the "Roadmap for a Cure," a comprehensive research plan to find a cure for chronic hepatitis B and the diseases associated with it, including liver cancer. The Roadmap was developed with the input of of more than 30 of the world's leading experts on hepatitis B, and identifies the most promising areas of research and potential funding sources.
- HBF's #justB storytelling campaign was launched, releasing 20 unique stories of people living with or affected by hepatitis B. The campaign aims to increase awareness and reduce stigma by putting a human face on the disease.
- The Joan Block Improving Lives Fund was established in recognition of HBF co-founder Joan Block's enormous contributions to the world of hepatitis B. Joan retired as executive director of HBF in June 2017 after 25 years of service.
- Hep B United, a national coalition established by HBF in partnership with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), celebrated its 5th anniversary. Since 2012, Hep B United has grown to include more than 30 local coalitions across 27 cities in 24 states and the District of Columbia.
- HBF awarded a 5-year competitive cooperative agreement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new CDC grant will support its work in continuing to build the national Hep B United coalition that it established in 2012 in partnership with AAPCHO to increase screening and linkage to care rates.
- HBF launched the 'HepDConnect.org' web-based program to increase awareness and provide information and support to those affected by this deadly virus, which only infects those already infected with hepatitis B. Visit hepdconnect.org
- HBF completed its two-year Patient Empowerment program in Haimen City, China that included more than 1,200 people chronically infected with hepatitis B who were identified in the first phase of our "Gateway to Care" campaign. Both phases were funded in part by the BMS Foundation and Haimen City CDC.
- HBF partnered with the Vietnam Viral Hepatitis Alliance (V-VHA) to launch a pilot a hepatitis B screening and care program in Ho Chi Minh City that has resulted in significant new funds to scale up the program. HBF medical director Dr. Robert Gish serves on the V-VHA board and is actively involved in Vietnam.
- HBF expanded its training programs with a Masters in Biomedical Sciences in collaboration with Geisinger Commonwealth College of Medicine, and a 6-week summer internship offered to high school students from China in partnership with the Philadelphia International Education Program.
- HBF's Baruch S. Blumberg Institute recruited world-renowned cancer physician scientist, Dr. Richard G. Pestell, to join its faculty. Dr. Pestell will create and lead the Cancer and Regenerative Medicine Research Center at the Blumberg Institute.
- HBF's Baruch S. Blumberg Institute scientists continue to be at the forefront of drug discovery for hepatitis B and liver cancer, as well as early detection biomarkers for primary liver cancer, the deadliest outcome of a chronic hepatitis B infection.
- The hepatitis B virus turns 50 this year! In February 1965, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the first article about the Australia Antigen (now known as hepatitis B virus) by Drs. Baruch Blumberg, Harvey Alter and Sam Visnich. Dr. Blumberg won the Nobel Prize for his discovery
- HBF completes its first major gifts campaign A Nobel Challenge and raises $3 million to fund its research institute, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, to pioneer new ways to treat hepatitis B and liver cancer, the deadliest outcome of hepatitis B.
- HBF’s Baruch S. Blumberg Institute recruits 5 new internationally recognized scientists to work exclusively on hepatitis B research, which brings the total faculty and research staff to almost 50 people. This makes the Blumberg Institute the largest concentration of nonprofit scientists working on hepatitis B and liver cancer in the U.S.
- HBF outreach program reaches more than 1 million people from 200 countries through its hepb.org website; more than 6,000 people through email, phone and social media consults; and provides valuable information in 10 different languages.
- HBF completes publication of its Hepatitis B Screening and Monitoring Recommendations and Algorithm in the 5 major primary care medical journals ‒ J. American Academy of Physician Assistants (2014); J. Nurse Practitioners (2013); The Female Patient (2012); American J. of Medicine (2012); and the J. of Family Practice (2011)
- Hep B United, a national coalition created and led by HBF in partnership with AAPCHO since 2012, has grown to include 30 partners in 24 cities and 14 states across America with a collective reach to 4 million Asian Americans at increased risk for hepatitis B infection.
- HBF invited to join the international committee of experts to develop the World Health Organization’s first-ever published Management Guidelines for Hepatitis B.
- HBF’s Gateway to Care program in Haimen City, China reaches 1 million people. Results of the citywide public health campaign, supported in part by a competitive grant from the BMS Foundation, were published in BMC Public Health and presented at professional conferences.
- HBF renamed its research institute the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute in honor of Co-Founder Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus. For 20 years, Dr. Blumberg was a vital force in the development of the HBF and its research programs until his death in April 2011.
- HBF launched www.LiverCancerConnect.org, the first patient-focused website that provides information and support to those facing the challenge of primary liver cancer, which is the most serious consequence chronic hepatitis B.
- The Hep B United national coalition, created and co-chaired by HBF in partnership with AAPCHO, was approved for co-branding with the CDC’s first national Know Hepatitis B educational campaign.
- HBF successfully advocates for the rights of hepatitis B-infected individuals in the United States! Based on our reports to the CDC about many cases of institutional discrimination against hepatitis B infected healthcare workers and students, the CDC updated its recommendations to clearly state that hepatitis B should not prevent anyone from a healthcare career. These updated recommendations became the cornerstone of a landmark settlement by the U.S. Dept. of Justice on March 5, 2013 that officially recognizes hepatitis B as being protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- HBF’s research institute represents the largest concentration of nonprofit scientists in the U.S. working on the problem of hepatitis B and liver cancer.
- To date, HBF’s research institute scientists are discovering new ways to attack the hepatitis B virus that could lead to promising new targets for drug discovery and an eventual cure.
- HBF established a new national coalition Hep B United in partnership with the Association for Asian and Pacific Community Health Organization (AAPCHO) to promote and leverage the success of community-based coalitions across the country in the fight against hepatitis B and liver cancer.
- HBF is helping to change clinical practice and national policy with published articles in peer-reviewed journals that highlight the underestimation and undertreatment of hepatitis B in the U.S., and the tremendous need to improve screening for this silent but deadly liver infection.
- Hepatitis B Foundation Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Watch the short YouTube video that captures the 20 year history of the Hepatitis B Foundation through old photos and interviews with the founders and Nobel Laureate Dr. Baruch Blumberg. View now!
- Merck & Co. donated its entire Natural Products Collection to the HBF’s research institute that provides access to a treasure trove for potential new therapies. As many as 50% of all medicines in use today came from natural products.
- A major American diagnostic company licensed the use to develop HBF’s HCC biomarker in the United States for the early detection of liver cancer; this same biomarker is already being used in China.
- HBF established its first international public health program in Haimen City, China to conduct a citywide hepatitis B education and outreach effort for the 1 million residents. This was made possible by a 3-year competitive grant from the BMS Foundation.
- Groundbreaking for nine new labs to accommodate the success of research entrepreneurs and a teaching lab for young scientists occurred in June.
- HBF was part of the IOM Report on Hepatitis and Liver Cancer from inception to fruition by providing testimony and having three of our medical advisors play a major role in this landmark report that set the stage for how the US will manage HBV and liver cancer in the next decade.
- HBF was at the forefront in working with Congressional members to advocate for HR 3974, the Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Prevention and Control Act 2009, a comprehensive bill that addresses the needs of more than five million Americans living with chronic hepatitis B.
- The highly competitive GSK IMPACT Award and $40,000 cash prize was awarded to the HBF for its comprehensive Outreach Program that helps improve access to care.
- John Ellis, a 17-year old cyclist from Florida took his devastating diagnosis of hepatitis B and turned it into an awareness campaign with his Believe in the Cure Cycling Tour of 1,287 miles from Pensacola to Philadelphia and raised $50,000 towards a cure!
- HBF convened the first National Pediatric Hepatitis B Workshop gathering an expert panel of pediatric liver specialists to discuss the management of children with chronic hepatitis B. Recommendations were published October 5, 2009 in Pediatrics.
- HBF organized a historic Library of Congress Symposium on HIV and HBV during National Hepatitis B Awareness Week to address the challenges in HIV vaccine development.
- Dr. Andy Cuconati, head of HBF’s Drug Discovery Program discovered a new compound that specifically suppresses release of HBV from infected liver cells.
- The Gateway to Care and the Philadelphia Task Force on Hepatitis B was launched to improve access to care through education and free screenings.
- HBF becomes sponsor of International HBV Meeting.
- HBF High School Science Enrichment Program is established.
- HBF opens its new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County, created and owned in partnership with Delaware Valley College.
- HBF provides impetus for historic advocacy successes: First-ever National HBV Act introduced in Congress; first Congressional Briefing on HBV; and first National HBV Awareness Week in May called for by Congress.
- HBF establishes the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (now the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute), which houses the HBF labs.
- HBF and University of Oxford Training Program is created - one of the first of its kind in the United States.
- Drexel University becomes the new academic partner of the HBF.
- Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker presents a check for $7.9 million to HBF and Delaware Valley College to build a biotechnology research complex.
- HBF becomes a charter member of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable in Washington, D.C.
- HBF receives a $400,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to fund a total reconstruction of its website - www.hepb.org.
- HBF celebrates our 10th Anniversary!
- The "Bruce Witte Research Fellowship" is established to fund a young scientist pursuing hepatitis B research.
- College summer research internship program is established.
- 6th Annual Princeton Workshop identifies "National Research Priorities for hepatitis B".
- $1.5 million PA state grant is received to support HBF outreach efforts, promote hepatitis research, and to conduct statewide viral hepatitis trainings.
- HBF offices and labs move under one roof to the new Jefferson Center for Biomedical Research, Doylestown,
- HBF outreach campaign results in PA Governor Tom Ridge declaring the first Hepatitis Awareness Month.
- O'Liver, the HBF liver mascot, makes its debut in a televised press conference on the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA
- HBF partners with Jefferson Medical College and Delaware Valley College to help establish a new research center in Doylestown, PA
- The first official HBF office is opened in Jenkintown, Pa.
- HBF goes on-line, creates a website (www.hepb.org) and is flooded with e-mails from around the world.
- Many new educational materials are developed to respond to the increasing requests for information.
- HBF advocacy efforts result in PA legislature passing Act 15 that adds the hepatitis B vaccine to the list of immunizations required for school entry.
- HBF invites 25 of the nation's leading scientists and clinicians to participate in the first Princeton Workshop, which is focused on hepatitis B therapeutic research.
- HBF reports that lamivudine is a promising new oral drug against hepatitis B.
- The HBF Research Lab is established at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA.
- A PA state grant is received to produce two Emmy-nominated television Public Service Announcements to promote hepatitis B awareness.
- Drs. Timothy Block, Baruch Blumberg, and Raymond Dwek discover a new anti-HBV drug at Oxford University.
- A PA state grant received to produce HBF video, "Someone You Know Has Hepatitis B", which includes an introduction by Dr. Nancy Snyderman of Good Morning America.
- The B Informed Newsletter is launched.
- HBF incorporates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
- First public HBF fundraiser in New Hope, Pa. raises $17,000.
- PA State Senator Jim Greenwood introduces the Hepatitis B Prevention, Research and Treatment Act into legislature.
- HBF reports that interferon alpha, an injectable drug, shows promise against hepatitis B.