Two Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and one British-born scientist Michael Houghton won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for work in identifying the Hepatitis C virus, which causes cirrhosis and liver cancer, the award-giving body said on 5 October.

The head of the Nobel Committee, Thomas Perlmann, announced the winners in Stockholm on Monday.

A five-member Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute screens nominations and chooses candidates for the prize in medicine. “Prior to their work, the discovery of the Hepatitis A and B viruses had been critical steps forward,” the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said in a statement on awarding the prize of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.1 million).

“The discovery of Hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.” ($1 = 8.9053 Swedish crowns)