The Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to the trio that discovered hepatitis C

Earlier today, the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists, Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton, and Charles M. Rice, who discovered the hepatitis C virus. The Hepatitis C virus was first discovered in 1989 and had previously been called non-A, non-B hepatitis.



a hand holding a coin: For many years, not knowing what hepatitis C was made blood transfusions incredibly risky.


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For many years, not knowing what hepatitis C was made blood transfusions incredibly risky.

Globally, an estimated 71 million people currently are infected with hepatitis C, which causes liver disease. In 2016, nearly 400,000 people died from cirrhosis and liver cancer as a result of the virus.

The first form of hepatitis, now called hepatitis A, was discovered in the 1940s, and was spread by contaminated food and water. By the 1960′s, researchers discovered another form, hepatitis B, a blood-borne liver infection. However, some patients undergoing blood transfusions were still mysteriously falling ill, thanks to a then-unknown

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A US-British trio wins the Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus [Video]

SHOTLIST

STOCKHOLM, SWEDENOCTOBER 5, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV

1. SOUNDBITE 1 – Thomas Perlmann , Nobel Assembly secretary (male, English, 22 sec): “The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for the discover of Hepatitis C virus. “

SOLNA, SWEDEN STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN OCTOBER 5, 2020 SOURCE: AFPTV

2. Cutaway: Secretary General of the Nobel Committee Thomas Perlmann making the announcement with photos of the laureates on the screen

BETHESDA, MARYLAND, UNITED STATESOCTOBER 5, 2020SOURCE: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTHRESTRICTIONS: NO RESALEEDITORIAL USE ONLY

3. SOUNDBITE 2 – Dr. Harvey Alter, Nobel Laureate in Medicine (male, english, 16 sec): “A vaccine is still a goal, but it’s been very difficult to do – just like for HIV, it’s a highly mutable virus, and it’s very difficult to develop an effective immune response

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U.S., British hepatitis C researchers win Nobel Prize in Medicine

Oct. 5 (UPI) — Three scientists who each played a role in finding a cure for hepatitis C have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Foundation announced Monday.

Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and Briton Michael Houghton won the 2020 prize for their separate work in battling hepatitis C, a blood-borne disease that causes cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

The disease is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and causes more than 1 million deaths per year worldwide, making it a global health threat on a scale comparable to HIV infection and tuberculosis.

The prize was announced during a ceremony at the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which awards the honor each year.

Two other types of hepatitis — A and B — had been identified earlier, but a still-unknown form had continued to affect blood transfusion

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Nobel prize in medicine awarded to US-UK trio for work on hepatitis C

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Two Americans and a British scientist have won the 2020 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for their groundbreaking work on blood-borne hepatitis, a health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer around the world.



a man standing in front of a flat screen television: Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images


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Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Harvey J Alter at the US National Institutes of Health in Maryland, Charles M Rice from Rockefeller University in New York, and Michael Houghton, a British virologist at the University of Alberta in Canada, were honoured for their joint discovery of the hepatitis C virus, a major cause of liver disease.

The award, announced on Monday by the Nobel assembly from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is worth 10m Swedish kronor (£870,000), which will be shared among the winners.

“Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood

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Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to discoverers of hepatitis C

Three scientists won the 2020 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their discovery of hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that can cause chronic inflammation of the liver, leading to severe scarring and cancer.



chart: illustration of the hepatisis C virus


© Provided by Live Science
illustration of the hepatisis C virus

The researchers Harvey Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles Rice “made seminal discoveries that led to the identification of a novel virus, hepatitis C virus,” the Nobel Committee wrote in a statement. Two other forms of viral hepatitis — hepatitis A and B — had already been discovered at the time, but most cases of chronic hepatitis remained unexplained, they noted.

“The discovery of hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives,” the committee wrote. The scientists’ award-winning work took place between the 1970s and 1990s, and

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Nobel Prize in medicine awarded for discovery of hepatitis C

Years later, British-born virologist Michael Houghton — then working for the pharmaceutical company Chiron — found a way to clone the virus and identified antibodies created against it by the host’s immune system; this led to the development of screening mechanisms to eliminate the virus in the blood supply. Through genetic analysis, then-Washington University in St. Louis researcher Charles M. Rice characterized the virus and set scientists on a path to finding a cure.

Hepatitis C, which is often transmitted through blood transfusions, causes severe inflammation of the liver and is blamed for 400,000 deaths annually.

The Nobel Committee called the three researchers’ work “a landmark achievement in our battle against viral infections.”

“It’s hard to find something that is of such benefit to mankind as what we are awarding this year,” said Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee. “This discovery … has led to improvements for millions of

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Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded for discovery of Hepatitis C to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice

The Nobel Prize in Medicine has been jointly awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.



a person standing in front of a television: Thomas Perlmann (right), the Secretary of the Nobel Committee, announces the winners.


© JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
Thomas Perlmann (right), the Secretary of the Nobel Committee, announces the winners.

The award is one of the most sought-after global accolades and grants entry into one of the most prestigious clubs in the world.

The Nobel Assembly said in a news release Monday that the three scientists “made seminal discoveries that led to the identification of a novel virus.”

It said the trio had “made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world.”

Globally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C virus infection, according to the World Health Organization. A significant number of those who are chronically infected will

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Discovery of Hepatitis C Snags Nobel Prize in Medicine

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus, which causes severe liver disease in more than 70 million people worldwide. The prize was jointly awarded to Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice, both Americans, and British-born scientist Michael Houghton.

Three hepatitis viruses are known to infect the liver: Hepatitis A is transmitted by water or contaminated food, and causes a short-term infection that typically resolves within weeks; hepatitis B and C are transmitted by contaminated blood, and cause chronic infections that can silently attack the liver for decades. This can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer, only treatable through liver transplants. As a result of hepatitis C’s discovery and blood screening programs, the virus has been nearly eliminated and most cases are treatable.

Hepatitis B and C were first noticed in patients who had received numerous blood transfusions or

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Nobel Prize for medicine awarded to trio who discovered Hepatitis C virus

The Nobel Committee announced Monday that three scientists will split the 2020 Nobel Price for Physiology or Medicine for their joint discovery of the virus that causes Hepatitis C, a blood-borne illness that damages the liver. The three scientists — Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice plus Michael Houghton of Britain — built on the discovery of the Hepatitis A and B viruses, the Nobel Committee said, and their “discovery of Hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.”

The discovery of the Hepatitis C virus allowed for sensitive tests that have “essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health,” and “also allowed the rapid development of antiviral drugs directed at Hepatitis C,” the committee explained. “For the first time in history, the

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Nobel prize for medicine goes to discoverers of the hepatitis C virus

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Harvey Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles Rice

Nobel Media

The 2020 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to Harvey Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles Rice for discoveries about the hepatitis C virus. The trio’s work led to treatments for the liver-destroying disease.

These discoveries have saved millions of lives worldwide and led to the development of drugs that cure 95 per cent of people treated, the Nobel committee said. This could lead to the elimination of the disease.

In the 1970s, Harvey Alter at the US National Institutes of Health showed that a liver-damaging disease in people given blood transfusions wasn’t due to the hepatitis A or B viruses, and that an unknown infectious agent was responsible.

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Michael Houghton at Chiron Corporation identified antibodies to hepatitis C, leading to the development of a blood test in 1990. This meant

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