Research priorities for the discovery of a cure for chronic hepatitis B: Report of a workshop

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In early 2017, the Hepatitis B Foundation invited 30 experts in the fields of hepatitis B and liver cancer research to identify projects they deemed important to the goal of finding a cure for chronic hepatitis B and D and the diseases with which these viral infections are associated. They were also asked to identify general categories of research and to prioritize sub-project topics within those areas. The experts generally agreed on broadly defined areas of research, but there was usually little difference between the highest and lowest scoring projects; for the most part, all programs described in this document were considered valuable and necessary. An executive summary of this discussion was recently published (Alter et al., Hepatology 2017). The present manuscript reports the areas of research identified by the workshop participants, provides a brief rationale for their selection, and attempts to express differences among the priorities assigned to each area of research, when such distinctions were expressed.HighlightsThe Hepatitis B Foundation organized a virtual workshop of 30 experts in hepatitis B and D and hepatocellular carcinoma.Participants were asked to identify general lines of research that are most likely to lead to curative therapies.Within each general area, participants were asked to identify specific research questions and to rank them by priority.They concluded that new therapies targeting cccDNA are most likely to lead to prolonged control or cure of infection.This report may help to guide future research aimed at developing new curative therapies for chronic hepatitis B.

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