World’s 1st oral hepatitis B antiviral agent

This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.

Lorne Tyrell

Lorne Tyrrell and Morris Robins, University of Alberta researchers, discovered potent hepatitis B antiviral agents. Their discovery led to one of Canada’s largest university/industry research collaborations in the 1990s, that in turn lead to the development of the world’s first oral hepatitis antiviral (called Lamivudine) in 1998. Today, Lamivudine is used in over 200 countries to treat chronic hepatitis B. It has slowed or prevented death for millions, and helped lessen fatal effects of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Coincidentally, it turns out that Lamivudine is also effective against HIV/AIDS and is used to prevent and treat that disease.

U of A virologist Lorne Tyrrell wins 2015 Killam Prize in Health Sciences

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University of Alberta

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of Canada’s top teaching and research universities, with an international reputation for excellence across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering and health sciences.