The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.
Announcing the prize in Stockholm on Monday, the Nobel Committee noted that the trio’s work helped explain a major source of blood-borne hepatitis that couldn’t be explained by the hepatitis A and B viruses
Their work make possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives, the committee said.
Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health, the committee said.
Their discovery also allowed the rapid development of antiviral drugs directed at hepatitis C, it added. For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating hepatitis C virus from the world population.