World’s 1st oral hepatitis B antiviral agent
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