Galveston County Daily News (Internet / Print) 02/07/06 Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have successfully grown the most common and damaging form of the hepatitis C virus in human liver cell cultures. Researchers believe the achievement — the first laboratory cultivation of a “genotype 1” hepatitis C virus — will significantly assist antiviral drug and vaccine discovery programs. “More than 50 percent of hepatitis C patients are infected with genotype 1 viruses, which are much less likely to respond to interferon,” said Stanley M. Lemon, director of UTMB’s Center for Hepatitis Research and senior author of a paper describing the work, which will be published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. “A cell-culture infectious variant of genotype 1 virus has been urgently needed, and that’s what we’ve developed.”