Forscher wollen Prophylaxe und Heilungschancen der chronischen Virushepatitis optimieren.© DZIF/scienceRELATIONS

Worldwide, more than half a billion people are chronically infected with the hepatitis B (HBV), C (HCV) and/or D virus (HDV) and are at high risk of developing end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. A preventive vaccine and efficient antiviral drugs are available for HBV. However, current treatments merely suppress viral replication and no curative treatments are in the pipeline. For HCV, on the other hand, the first specific direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have been approved and other promising compounds are in clinical development.

With an increasing number of therapeutic options and the emergence of viral resistance, therapy will become much more complex in the coming years. There is an urgent need to establish treatment standards that consider all patient groups, including in particular the difficult-to-treat patients, e.g. those with end-stage liver disease or liver cancer, who are excluded from most clinical trials. Finally, specific treatments are lacking for certain forms of chronic viral hepatitis such as HDV/HBV co-infection, the most severe form of the disease. 

Research Areas

  • Epidemiology to improve access to hepatitis care
  • Signatures of immune control and disease progression
  • Virus eradication
  • Structural improvements to assemble patient cohorts and facilitate clinical trials.

Participating Focus Sites



Interview with Michael Manns, TTU "Hepatitis" [in German]

Michael P. Manns, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover

Ulrike Protzer, Technische Universität München / Helmholtz Zentrum München
Ralf Bartenschlager, Universität & Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg

Project manager
Petra Dörge