Hepatitis B Foundation Strongly Supports the Strategic Plan for Trans‐NIH Research to Cure Hepatitis B

DOYLESTOWN, PA (December 11, 2019) On December 10, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a groundbreaking Strategic Plan for Trans‐NIH Research to Cure Hepatitis B. This Plan is the first product from the NIH Hepatitis B Cure Strategic Plan Working Group that was created as a result of Fiscal Year 2019 Congressional Appropriations Report language advocated for by the Hepatitis B Foundation. 

Citing their commitment to “advancing efforts to end the hepatitis B epidemic,” the Strategic Plan for Trans‐NIH Research to Cure Hepatitis B proposes three priorities to develop a hepatitis B cure and improved strategies for vaccination, screening, and follow‐up to care. The first priority calls for a better understanding of hepatitis B biology; the second emphasizes the development and sharing of tools and resources to support fundamental research and product development; and the third calls for the creation of strategies to cure and prevent hepatitis B infection.

The Strategic Plan for Trans‐NIH Research to Cure Hepatitis B builds on recommendations from the Hepatitis B Foundation Roadmap for a Cure. “This is an important and creative step forward and we thank NIH for its continuing commitment to find a cure for hepatitis B,” said Timothy Block, PhD, President of the Hepatitis B Foundation.

NIH anticipates that this plan will “serve as a foundation for future research investments that will provide the comprehensive research base needed to develop hepatitis B cure and prevention strategies. Implementing such strategies will depend on a concerted international effort by numerous public health stakeholders to end the hepatitis B epidemic.” The Hepatitis B Foundation is hopeful that NIH will use this plan to put out specific calls for proposals to focus funding on these priorities.   

About Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver infection in the world. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus that attacks and injures the liver. Each year up to 1 million people die from hepatitis B worldwide despite the fact that it is preventable and treatable. Hepatitis B is a “silent epidemic” because most people do not have symptoms when they are newly or chronically infected. Thus, they can unknowingly spread the virus to others and continue the spread of hepatitis B. For people who are chronically infected but don’t have any symptoms, their liver is still being silently damaged which can develop into serious liver disease such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: The Hepatitis B Foundation is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read our blog at hepb.org/blog, follow us on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call 215‐489‐4900.