South-east Asian Research Collaboration in Hepatitis (SEARCH)


  • Prof Graham Cooke

    Imperial College London

  • Prof Guy Thwaites

    University of Oxford

  • Prof Eleanor Barnes

    University of Oxford

  • Prof Timothy Hallett

    Imperial College London

  • Prof Sir Nicholas White

    University of Oxford

  • Prof Ann Sarah Walker

    University College London

  • Dr Vinh Chau Nguyen

    Hospital for Tropical Diseases

Project summary

Viral hepatitis can lead to liver cancer and liver scarring (cirrhosis). It is the seventh leading cause of death globally and hepatitis C (HCV) has been responsible for an increase in mortality rates over the past 20 years. HCV is curable and this substantially reduces the risk of complications. Until recently, treatment relied on long courses of medication with high rates of toxicity. Several new treatments that work directly against the virus are now available but access to them is limited.

Vietnam has the strains of HCV seen throughout the world, but also one seen less commonly elsewhere (genotype 6) about which there has been little research. About one million people in Vietnam are infected with hepatitis C and as a lower middle income country, it is able to access cheaper, generic treatment for hepatitis C.

Our objectives are to establish a multidisciplinary collaborative study of HCV treatment in Vietnam and deliver a novel trial to evaluate different treatment strategies with two new therapies. We will then provide evidence to allow the treatment to be scaled up and made accessible to all.