The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has awarded nearly $1 million dollars to the Hepatitis B Foundation’s Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (IHVR) to develop a potential therapy for liver cancer, according to an IHVR news announcement. The foundation looks to further develop an inhibitor of AKT-mTOR, a “pathway” in the body that can be activated by hepatitis B and C virus proteins, prevent diseased liver cells from committing suicide (apoptosis) and ultimately become cancerous. The $909,170 grant was awarded through the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program. “A prototype of the compound we are developing has already proven effective in an animal model,” explained Timothy Block, PhD, of IHVR. “If we are successful, the new drug would be selective for [liver cancer] cells and offer higher efficacy, lower toxicity and fewer side effects than current treatments.”

To read the IHVR news announcement, click here.