Three researchers, based in the United States, Harvey Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles Rice have won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus, the committee announced on Monday.
The committee said their discoveries revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.
Alter and Rice were both born in the U.S. while Hougton was born in the U.K.
“For the first time in history, the Hepatitis C virus can now be cured,” the committee said when they announced the decision.
“The 2020 medicine laureates’ discoveries revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.”
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1,118,000), courtesy of a bequest left 124 years ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded 110 times to 219 Nobel laureates between 1901 and 2019.
Two Americans and a Briton won the medicine prize last year for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.
Unlike previous years, there will be no swanky gala in Stockholm this year because of the pandemic.
Prizes in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will be announced later this week.