In an announcement today, Melbourne’s Burnet Institute is partnering with pharmaceutical company Moderna, in a bid to deliver three new highly desired vaccines, one of which may be the first-ever vaccine for hepatitis C.
The other vaccines include a longer-lasting COVID-19 vaccine and one for malaria. Professor James Beeson, the head of the Burnet’s malaria immunity and vaccines laboratory, said that like COVID-19, hepatitis C has an issue with variants of the virus, and Burnet researchers had made some important advances on how a vaccine could be developed that covers the known variants.
“This would be an important breakthrough in the prevention of hepatitis C, as around 50,000 Victorians, and over 130,000 Australians are still living with chronic hepatitis, and many are unaware they have the virus,” said Russell Shewan, LiverWELL CEO. “Although treatments are available for those with hepatitis C, a vaccine would greatly reduce transmission and therefore reduce the burden of serious and sometimes deadly liver disease which can result from untreated hepatitis C.”
“We are excited to hear this announcement from the Burnet Institute and look forward to hearing more about the progress of this vital work,” said Russell.