Hep B Foundation

14 11 2006

If you’re interested in hepatitis B, there’s an organization you should know about – the Hepatitis B Foundation.  The work this group is doing at their new Institute is particularly exciting.

The Hepatitis B Foundation http://www.hepb.org/  is solely focused on hepatitis B and is a valuable source of information about hepatitis B. 

Their mission is…“to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide.”

They focus on funding focused research, promoting disease awareness, supporting immunization and treatment initiatives, and serving as a source of information for patients and their families, the medical and scientific community, and the general public.

In 1991, Paul and Janine Witte and Dr. Timothy and Joan Block started the Foundation with the personal support of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus.

More recently, the Hepatitis B Foundation established the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research http://www.ihvr.org/  

The Institute’s mission is to use discovery science to find new therapies for viral hepatitis and liver cancer; to advance its research discoveries through traditional scholarship and educational opportunities; to nurture biotechnology; and to promote public health outreach programs to improve the quality of life for those affected by viral hepatitis.

The components of the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (IHVR) include a large compound library and screening program for anti-hepatitis drug discovery, as well as a proteomics facility that utilizes two mass spectrometers to examine proteins and other molecules from those infected with hepatitis B and C in order to develop early markers of disease.

The Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (IHVR) is using pharmaceutical grade high-throughput robotic systems to screen its own compound library of more than 80,000 carefully selected diverse molecules for therapeutic activity against hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other clinical targets that fall out of the mainstream of pharmaceutical interest, but are important health matters, nonetheless. The anti-hepatitis virus imino-sugar structure activity relationship derivative program will be continued.

The theory regarding hepatitis virus persistence and evasion of proteasomal degradation will be explored. The theory regarding the role of host defense pathways in the augmentation of hepatitis B resistance to antivirals will also be explored.

The Institute is using mass spectroscopy-assisted discovery of antigenic epitopes from hepatitis B and C-infected cells, as well as other technologies to discover epitopes that might have therapeutic value and serve as early detection markers of cancer. New assays for the detection of liver cancer and colorectal cancer are also being developed, using novel genomic and proteomic methods.

 


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