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Hepatitis C Virus—From Discovery to Cure The 2016 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award

Ralf F. W. Bartenschlager, PhD1; Charles M. Rice, PhD2; Michael J. Sofia, PhD3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany
2Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease and Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, Rockefeller University, New York, New York
3Arbutus Biopharma, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2016;316(12):1254-1255. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.13713.
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In this Viewpoint, 2016 Lasker Award winners Ralf Bartenschlager, Charles Rice, and Michael Sofia discuss their work developing a system to study the replication of hepatitis C virus and a class of antivirals to treat the infection.

The liver is the largest organ in the human body and is central for metabolism and many other functions. Several viruses specialize in infecting the liver and are called hepatitis viruses. Five such viruses are known, including hepatitis C virus (HCV), which was originally recognized as an agent of posttransfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis. Given that about 6% of patients receiving blood transfusions developed non-A, non-B hepatitis, tremendous efforts were mounted to isolate and molecularly clone this filterable agent, likely a virus.

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