Chiron granted hepatitis C patent.
"This patent is based on a fundamental breakthrough in infectious disease research which Chiron scientists achieved when they cloned and correctly identified the hepatitis C virus," commented Robert Blackburn, vice president and chief patent counsel at Chiron. "Never before had an unknown infectious agent been identified through molecular cloning techniques alone without prior characterization. This invention has resulted in saving millions of people from a potentially debilitating and sometimes fatal disease. Likewise it has enabled healthcare systems worldwide to save millions of dollars in detection and treatment costs."
Hepatitis C, previously called non-A, non-B hepatitis, has been known since the mid 1970s and became recognized as a major health threat to patients receiving blood transfusions. In response to this crisis, major laboratories around the world searched without success for the disease-causing agent. In 1987, Chiron scientists Michael Houghton, PhD; Qui-Lim Choo, PhD; and George Kuo, PhD, cloned and first identified hepatitis C virus as the cause of transfusion-related non-A, non-B hepatitis. This discovery marked the first time a virus was cloned before it had been grown in tissue culture or otherwise isolated. Based on its research, Chiron has been granted in excess of 100 hepatitis C virus-related patents in over 20 countries.
Chiron is a leading biotechnology company that participates in three global healthcare markets: biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, and blood testing. The company is applying a broad and integrated scientific approach to the development of innovative products for preventing and treating cancer, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease.
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|Publication:||BIOTECH Patent News|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2000|
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