UAlberta Research in Your Life

World's first hepatitis B antiviral:
Now used in 200+ countries and fights HIV/AIDS too                         Hepatitis treatment

Hepatitis affects almost 1 in 3 people on earth. The infectious liver disease knows no borders; its affects range from short-term illness to chronic infection and life threatening consequences, like cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure and liver cancer. Globally, over 400 million live with chronic hepatitis B and C, while 1.3 million die from these diseases each year.

Potent antiviral discovered
In the 1990’s UAlberta researchers, Lorne Tyrrell and Morris Robins, discovered potent hepatitis B antiviral agents. A discovery that then led to one of Canada’s largest university/industry research collaborations, which in turn led to the development of the world’s first oral hepatitis antiviral (called Lamivudine) in 1998.

Used in over 200 countries to treat hepatitis B

Lamivudine is now used in over 200 countries to treat chronic hepatitis B, and has slowed or prevented death for millions, and helped lessen fatal effects of liver cirrhosis and cancer. Chronic hepatitis B infection is the most common risk factor for liver cancer. People with chronic hepatitis are 100 times more likely to develop cancer than uninfected people because the virus directly and repeatedly attacks the liver, which over time can lead to progressive liver damage and liver cancer.

Also fights HIV/AIDS
It turns out that Lamivudine is also effective against HIV/AIDS, and is now used to prevent and treat that disease