During the period of December 2016 to February 2017, the Hepatitis B Foundation convened a “virtual workshop” to consider the possibility of discovery of a cure for chronic hepatitis B infection, and the diseases with which it is associated, including liver cancer. More than 30 of the world’s leading experts contributed to the development of a detailed Research Agenda, a collective professional judgment on the research that is most likely to advance the discovery and development of curative therapies for hepatitis B. A brief summary of their recommendations is included in this overview. The Hepatitis B Foundation subsequently convened a second panel of four experts in health research funding to develop a Professional Judgment Budget detailing the funding needed to achieve a cure for HBV infection. Highlights of their analysis are also included in this report.The time is right for an aggressive and vigorous research campaign to find a cure for chronic hepatitis B infection, because of the unacceptable morbidity and mortality of this serious liver disease in the U.S. and worldwide, and because recent advances in technology surrounding the problem make this a winnable battle. Indeed, there is an increasing optimism in the scientific community that a cure is possible.
Timothy M. Block, Ph.D.
President, Hepatitis B Foundation and the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute