New NIH Funding for Research to Cure HIV/HBV Coinfection
Cross-posted from HHS Viral Hepatitis Blog
NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has announced availability of funding to advance research into a cure for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite applications for support of innovative basic, translational, and clinical research to identify and address the challenges to achieving hepatitis B virus cure in the presence or absence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Higher prevalence of HBV is observed in people living with HIV (PLWH). The global prevalence of HBV infection in PLWH is 7.4% but rises to 15% to 28% in high endemic areas. HIV accelerates the natural course of HBV infection resulting in more rapid progression to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Currently available antiviral drugs suppress HBV viral replication and hinder disease progression, but treatment is not curative. The immune response to HBV vaccination may be reduced in PLWH leaving them susceptible to infection if exposed to the virus.
The funding opportunity will support hypothesis-driven, innovative basic, translational, and clinical research to identify and address the unique challenges to achieving HBV cure. Research on HBV relating to the following areas is encouraged: immunology, virology, and therapeutics.