US$4 million ALL4LIVER Grant To Be Awarded For Viral Hepatitis Elimination

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD), announced a global distribution of US$4 million through its ALL4LIVER Grant (“Grant”) to support community-backed innovative projects associated with hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and hepatitis D (HDV) in conjunction with the World Hepatitis Summit (“Summit”). An official announcement was made at a Gilead-hosted symposium titled “Partnering for Global Health Equity: Case Studies from Around the World,” held during the World Hepatitis Summit (“Summit”) in Lisbon from 9th to 11th April, 2024.

Out of 71 organisations awarded the 2023 Grant, 10 are from Asia including Association of Liver Patients and Survivors based in South Korea and Taiwan Formosa Cancer Foundation based in the Taiwan region, among others. These recipients are selected by an independent external review panel of global experts, including the World Hepatitis Alliance (“WHA”). This collaboration extends WHA’s longstanding partnership with Gilead to further the Grant’s ambition of supporting community-led efforts and catalyzing viral hepatitis elimination efforts.

The Western Pacific accounts for 40% of all chronic viral hepatitis cases worldwide, with 108 million people living with HBV and 14.4 million HCV.1,2 It is estimated approximately 15–20% of the adults are carriers of HBV and 2–5% are infected with HCV in the Taiwan region.3,4 According to the Taiwan region’s cancer registry, about 47% of liver cancers are caused by chronic HBV and 33% by chronic HCV respectively.5 Approximately 60%–80% of all liver cancer and cirrhosis incidences in South Korea are reportedly due to chronic HBV, while 10%–20% are due to HCV. 6,7The data demonstrates that to achieve viral hepatitis elimination in the region, addressing the unmet needs associated with viral hepatitis is crucial. The grant funding will empower the two organisations to launch innovative projects aimed at driving testing, improving linkage to care, and elevating viral hepatitis on the public health agenda.

Association of Liver Patients and Survivors, a volunteer-led and run organisation in South Korea, will utilise the funding to sustain the “Happiness Sharing” periodicals. The initiative aims to heighten public awareness, promote early detection, and instill a culture of proactive management for HBV, with inputs from patients and healthcare professionals. The other grantee, Taiwan Formosa Cancer Foundation, plans to leverage their established mechanisms for sharing and exchanging of information and implementing cooperative programs to become a trusted source of information and complement national health systems to benefit more patients. The campaign will leverage online and offline channels to provide easily understandable health information and share inspiring patient stories, uplift health literacy and reduce cancer incidence and mortality through public education.

Professor Tan Chee Kiat, Senior Consultant, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Singapore General Hospital, and an advisor of All4LIVER Grant Review Committee said: “Hepatitis is often referred to as a silent killer, as individuals infected with it may show no symptoms for many years until complications like liver cirrhosis or liver cancer develop. This delayed onset of symptoms can result in missed chances for timely treatment and regular monitoring for liver cancer. Asia bears a significant burden of perinatally acquired chronic hepatitis, highlighting the crucial need for improved public education to dispel misconceptions, advocate for prevention, and promote early detection to ensure individuals receive timely and necessary treatment for this health issue.”

“With the World Health Organization’s 2030 goal to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat fast approaching, the need for a multi-stakeholder approach is more urgent than ever. Hepatitis remains a significant public health burden in the region and concerted effort from various sectors is essential. With the ALL4LIVER Grant, we’re proud to join forces with our community partners more closely, nurturing innovative solutions specifically tailored to local challenges. Together, we envision a future where the burden of hepatitis is a thing of the past, and healthcare is truly accessible to all,” said Stanley Li, General Manager, Singapore, Hong Kong & Malaysia.

Notably, this marks the second cycle of the Gilead ALL4LIVER Grant in Asia. Since 2021, the Grant has been supporting campaigns led by local community organisations in Asia, aimed at driving testing, sharing knowledge of viral hepatitis, and raising awareness of the disease. The 2023 Grant recipients span regions including Africa, South America, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North America. The US$4 million funding will be committed to community-backed innovative projects that address unmet needs associated with HCV, HBV, and HDV by tackling stigma and discrimination, while simultaneously supporting efforts to achieve the elimination of viral hepatitis elimination as a public health concern.

For more information about Gilead ALL4LIVER Grant and former grantees, please visit https://www.gileadall4liver.com/


References:

1 World Health Organization. (n.d.). Hepatitis. https://www.who.int/westernpacific/health-topics/hepatitis

2 CDA Foundation’s Polaris Observatory. (2021). Data. Retrieved September 1, 2021 [Updated on 1 September 2021]

3 Yang, J. F., et al. (2010). Viral hepatitis infections in southern Taiwan: A multicenter community-based study. Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 26, 461–469. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1607-551X(10)70073-5

4 Yu, M. L., et al. (2015). Huge gap between clinical efficacy and community effectiveness in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C: A nationwide survey in Taiwan. Medicine 94 (e690). https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000000690

5 Su, T. H., Wu, C. H., Liu, T. H., Ho, C. M., & Liu, C. J. (2023). Clinical practice guidelines and real-life practice in hepatocellular carcinoma: A Taiwan perspective. Clinical and Molecular Hepatology, 29(2), 230-241. https://doi.org/10.3350/cmh.2022.0421

6 Nam, J. Y., Jang, E. S., Kim, Y. S., Lee, Y. J., Kim, I. H., Cho, S. B., et al. (2020). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of hepatitis C virus infection in South Korea from 2007 to 2017: A prospective multicenter cohort study. Gut and Liver, 14:207–217.

7 Kim, B. H., & Park, J. W. (2018). Epidemiology of liver cancer in South Korea. Clinical and Molecular Hepatology, 24(1), 1–9.

Images: Envato

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