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IU Professor’s Discovery May Lead To Hepatitis B Cure

IU professor Adam Zlotnick has identified a molecule that could lead to a hepatitis B cure.

A reconstructed image of the hepatitis B capsid from data by IU's cryo-electron microscope.

Photo: Indiana University

A reconstructed image of the hepatitis B shell from data by IU's cryo-electron microscope.

A set of anti-viral molecules an Indiana University biochemist has identified could lead to a cure for hepatitis B.

The anti-viral technology IU Professor Adam  Zlotnick works with focuses on how viruses like hepatitis B are able to put themselves together.

By looking closely at the virus’s structure, Zlotnick was able to figure out how to interfere with the viruses ability to reproduce. He says the process uses molecules known as Core Protein Allosteric Modulators.

“What we’re finding is that a small molecule can act like a molecular wedge,” Zlotnick says.

And that keeps the virus from forming and spreading.

Zlotnick says the next step is development of a drug and clinical trials.

He worked with colleagues at the company Assembly Biosciences to identify the molecule.

He says he and his team are studying Hepatitis B because of its major impact on public health. It affects over 350 million people worldwide.

Casey Kuhn

Casey Kuhn is a reporter working for WFIU/WTIU news. Originally from Cincinnati, she recently graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in journalism. Her main interests are dogs, baseball, and food. Follow her online at @CaseyAtTheDesk.

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  • Kongo

    Please I really need a cure from this disease

  • Bob Eckert

    If Lilly doesn’t jump on this development process and end up possibly selling the drug, they are humongous fools. On another note, we all know what viruses do when they are threatened with extinction, they mutate or in the case of bacteria they take on resistive properties that make in either case, control impossible.

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