Infection with adenovirus, a common childhood virus, is the leading hypothesis for recent cases of severe hepatitis of unknown origin in children that have led to at least six deaths, U.S. health officials said on May 20.

A chain of events possibly triggered by unrecognized infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could be causing the mysterious cases of severe hepatitis reported in hundreds of young children around the world, researchers suggest.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said the number of unusual pediatric hepatitis cases reached 450, double the number reported two weeks earlier.

Janssen terminated a seven-year-old vaccine collaboration with Bavarian Nordic. The two companies partnered in 2015 to develop potential vaccines against the hepatitis B virus and human papillomaviruses.

U.S. health officials on May 6 said they are investigating 109 cases of severe hepatitis of unknown origin in children, including five reported deaths, updating a nationwide alert issued in April for doctors to be on the lookout for such cases of the liver disease.

Health authorities around the world are investigating a mysterious increase in severe cases of hepatitis – inflammation of the liver – in young children.

Silverback Therapeutics is halting the company’s clinical oncology programs and letting go of about 27% of its workforce as part of a restructuring initiative that would leave Silverback with more cash reserves. 

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Merck & Co. Inc.’s bid to revive a $2.54 billion jury verdict the company won against rival drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc. for infringing a patent in a dispute over a blockbuster hepatitis C treatment.

Gilead Sciences Inc. bolstered the company’s capabilities in treating liver diseases with a €1.15 billion ($1.4 billion) cash acquisition of Germany-based Myr GmbH, which is focused on developing therapies for the treatment of chronic hepatitis delta virus (HDV), the most severe form of viral hepatitis.

Three scientists will share the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their seminal discoveries that led to the identification of the Hepatitis C virus, a significant health problem across the globe that can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer in patients.