Better Science

Better Science

Human-Modeled Hepatitis C Research

The following are two examples of research into the causes and treatment of hepatitis C that do not appear to use chimpanzees.

Researcher:

Stewart L. Cooper

Grant No.

1R01DK064051-01

Project:

Immune Responses in Acute Hepatitis C

Institution:

UCSF/Northern CA Research Institute

Project runs:

August 15, 2003 - June 30, 2008

Funding:

$373,110 in 2004

This clinical researcher proposes an examination of IV drug users to study HCV.
As described in the CRISP* abstract:

… Understanding the type of immunity that allows approximately 15% people to clear acute hepatitis C holds the key to developing a vaccine… To better understand the type of immunity that correlates with protection, careful study of successful responses will be required. Injection drug users have the highest rates of new HCV infection but typically many get lost to follow-up. In a local epidemiological cohort of over 200 injectors a high rate (28%/person/year) of new HCV infections has been identified and followed up. This now permits prospective study of people with acute hepatitis C. In this project, Aim 1 proposes to prospectively examine HCV-specific antibody and T cell responses from the point of diagnosis (based on conversion to HCV RNA or antibody positivity). … Overall this investigation will provide unique insights into protective mechanisms of immunity against HCV. It will also lay a foundation for vaccine design.

Researcher:

Brian Naughton

Grant No.

1R43AI057078-01

Project:

Engineered 3-D Human Liver Tissue for Hepatitis Studies

Institution:

RegeneMed, Inc. La Jolla, CA

Project runs:

Sept. 30, 2003 - Sept. 29, 2005

Funding:

$299,915

 

This study is an example of a non-animal method that utilizes state-of-the-art technology to develop a model for liver tissue. RegeneMed, Inc. is not on the USDA list of research facilities with animals.

As described in the grant’s abstract:

A critical prerequisite for identifying and developing better therapies for viral hepatitis is the availability of convenient model systems capable of supporting efficient authentic viral replication. Unfortunately, to date the only non-human animal models are the chimpanzee and, with a variety of severe limitations, an immunodeficient xenotransplant mouse model. The great expense, and non-physiologic and low replication levels, respectively, associated with these animal models place great practical limits on their usefulness for rapid and efficient drug discovery and development. The availability of engineered human liver tissue capable of supporting viral infection would be relatively inexpensive, convenient, and ideal for the evaluation of novel antiviral therapies and the study of HCV and other virus-related pathology. …This proposal seeks to leverage patented breakthrough technology in the field of engineered, 3-dimensional liver tissue into a novel platform for molecular virology and antiviral development. Keys to the success of this technology include its scalability, reproducibility, and an established ability to yield liver tissues far exceeding previous attempts at organ engineering.


Sources

*Information on the two research grants was obtained from the Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects (CRISP) database.

Top Δ