September 2021
Celebrating 30 Years Working Together: a new video
As part of our 30th Anniversary commemoration, we've created a video that is titled "Celebrating 30 Years Working Together," which we hope you will find interesting and enjoyable. The nine-minute feature is posted here.
Consult corner: a new feature with our FAQs and answers
Welcome to Consult Corner, where we share the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive!

This month's question: Is it safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if a person has hepatitis B?

The simple answer is "Yes!"

The Global Hepatology Society, which comprises the major professional clinical liver societies around the globe, released a statement encouraging people with liver disease to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The Global Hepatology Society includes the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, European Association for the Study of the Liver, the Latin American Association for the Study of the Liver and The Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver.
#justB Dad: watch William's story
Excited by the impending birth of his first child, William decided to make careful plans for his family’s financial future.

He was shocked to learn through a required health insurance blood test that he has hepatitis B and spent sleepless nights wondering how he contracted the virus and whether it was a death sentence.

After wading through information online, William went in for further tests and was reassured by a caring provider that with monitoring, dietary changes, and an active lifestyle, he can live a long life. Watch William's story here.
Major successes on Capitol Hill
A key aspect of the Hepatitis B Foundation’s efforts to eradicating hepatitis B is advocacy, particularly trying to educate and influence members of the U.S. Congress and their staffs. Our work with the House Appropriations Committee resulted in major wins in terms of policy and funding priorities at several federal agencies.

Language included in the House Appropriations Bill that was recommended by the Foundation includes:

  • NIH will issue new targeted calls for research to cure hepatitis B.
  • The National Cancer Institute will support research needed to develop a liver cancer screening test using the blood and saliva samples from widespread COVID testing.
  • The National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) will explore ways to increase success through collaboration with business incubators, using the example of the Pennsylvania Biotech Center.
  • CDC will have an increased $5 million in funding for its Division of Viral Hepatitis at the CDC, was encouraged to continue investing in hepatitis B grants for community-based organizations and has been asked to develop a plan to increase the rate of adult hepatitis B vaccination.

To learn more about this amazing progress, please read the entire Report from Washington here. Together we can eliminate hepatitis B.
COVID-19 infection of the human heart
Dr. Richard G. Pestell and his team are studying tissue from the hearts of patients who died from COVID-19.

They have discovered the presence of COVID-19 virus proteins and RNA in cardiac myocytes. This shows distinct inflammatory pathways are activated in the hearts infected by COVID-19 in different patients.
Through this research they were able to see that a family of drugs they discovered, iminosugar ER glucosidase inhibitors, significantly reduces the replication of SARS-CoV (the cause of SARS) in vitro in cultured cells, at concentrations where no cytotoxicity is observed. This important research will be expanded upon to determine the feasibility of further development for COVID-19 therapeutic candidates. 

If research like this is important you, please donate to the COVID-19 Blumberg Action Fund now. Donate here.

Please note: The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute remains committed to hepatitis B and liver cancer transitional research. However, everyone has also been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and some of the work that has been ongoing at the Institute can help with the pursuit and understanding of COVID-19.
U.S. researchers seeking people living with hepatitis B

Researchers across the U.S. are recruiting people living with hepatitis B for a clinical trial of a potential new treatment called Cemiplimab. Sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the study is being led by a University of California at Los Angeles team and has sites in L.A., New York City, Atlanta and other locations. If you’re interested, you can find eligibility information on, using the identifier (NCT number): NCT04046107. Enrollment must be done through a physician.
"B Heppy" podcast, two new episodes:
Progress Toward a Cure, Adoption and Hepatitis B
We have two new episodes of the "B Heppy" podcast. In the first one we chat with Dr. Timothy Block about the progress made toward a cure for hepatitis B. In the next episode we discuss Hepatitis B and Adoption with Maureen Kamischke.

You can find the podcast episodes here or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
Charitable stock gifts can help save lives!
Increasingly, those who want to make a difference for people affected by hepatitis B are choosing an innovative, financially conscious way to do it, which is donating appreciated stock.

Donating stock helps you save on taxes and makes an even bigger impact on our search for a cure — and now, you can make your gift in just a few minutes online. Save on your taxes and save lives. Give your stock today.
Hepatitis B Foundation's journal pick of the month
Cure Everyone and Vaccinate the Rest:
The Patient Perspective on Future Hepatitis B Treatment
Freeland C, Racho R, Kamischke M, Moraras K, Wang E, Cohen C
Journal of Viral Hepatitis Aug. 7, 2021
While many journal articles have been written about hepatitis B, it's uncommon for one to be so focused on the people living with hepatitis B. Through qualitative interviews, this team of Hepatitis B Foundation researchers explored treatment preferences for those living with chronic hepatitis B.

Many expressed a desire for drug therapies to not cause side effects that make them sick, for instance. Overall patients preferred treatment options that were user-friendly and didn’t require visiting infusion centers.

Cost and access to treatment was also a huge concern. Many individuals reported that they would try any potential functional cure that didn’t make them sick and was affordable and accessible.

The patient interviews provide valuable data about the quality of life of patients and how a functional cure will be transformative for them. The importance of understanding treatment preferences of people living with hepatitis B is stressed as new therapies are being developed. Read more here.
Patients are invited to join us for a community forum this fall
A Hepatitis B Community Forum, hosted by the Hepatitis B Foundation and ICE-HBV and sponsored by the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL), is set for Sept. 30 during the HBV International Meeting.

The forum will facilitate engaging conversations among hepatitis B communities, particularly patients and the doctors, nurses, public health professionals and scientists participating in the influential International HBV Meeting.

The goal is to fast-track an HBV cure and eliminate stigma and discrimination. More here.
Sept. 26-30
International HBV Meeting on the
Molecular Biology of Hepatitis B Viruses

Oct. 14
Bruce Witte Lecture
"From New York to Stockholm, A Tale of Two Viruses"
Online Event

Nov. 2-4
Hep B United Summit
Hybrid Event
Details pending

Nov. 4
Regional Biotechnology Conference
PABC/Blumberg Institute
Doylestown, Pa.
Details pending

Nov. 10
International Workshop on HBV Cure
Learn more about our research and education programs at
The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide. Our commitment includes funding focused research, promoting disease awareness, supporting immunization and treatment initiatives, and serving as the primary source of information for patients and their families, the medical and scientific community, and the general public.
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