“SANOFI-INSERM HBV Cure program”: a medical, academic and pharmaceutical alliance for research into hepatitis B
Paris, France – 5 January 2017 – Inserm and Sanofi have joined forces and efforts in a new infectious diseases research project: “SANOFI-INSERM HBV Cure Program”. This project brings together studies from two research centres under the governance of Inserm, CNRS, the Claude Bernard-Lyon 1 University, the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (Lyon Higher Specialist Training School) and the Leon Bérard anti-cancer centre, CRCL1 and CIRI2. The research programme is also supported by ANRS as part of its coordinated action 34 “HBV Cure”. The primary objective of this work is to develop a curative treatment for hepatitis B.
Despite the existence of a vaccine against hepatitis B, mass vaccination is still difficult to set up in many countries and the long term care of infected patients is still complex. As such, over 240 million people currently suffer from chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus throughout the world. This is considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be a major public health problem. Whilst treatments are available to control the infection, none is currently able to eradicate the virus from liver cells. There is therefore a need to advance research in order to develop candidate medicines capable of producing functional recovery in hepatitis B either directed against the virus itself or by stimulating the anti-HBV immune response.