INTRODUCTION The global health burden from liver disease is immense with over 450 million individuals infected with viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (1) Cirrhosis kills 27,000 Americans each year, and over 25 million Americans have liver-related diseases. The World Health Organization estimates that there are at least 21.3 million hepatitis C virus (HCV) carriers in the Eastern Mediterranean countries, which is close to the number of carriers estimated in the Americas and Europe combined (2). It is estimated that of the world’s six billion people, one third (two billion) have been infected with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) (3). HBV is thought to be responsible for more than 350 million HBV carriers in the world, with an annual mortality rate of one million patients4. Studies in Saudi Arabia have shown HBV is the most predominant type of hepatitis, accounting for 49.3% of the cases, followed by HCV (40.7%) and HAV (10%). HBV predominates in young adults (31-50 years), and HCV in older adults (51-70 years) (5). Approximately 20% of Hepatitis C infected individuals progress to end stage liver disease and there are currently nearly 17,000 people waiting for a liver transplant in the United States. This shortage of donor livers exists worldwide and has prompted the search for alternative cell therapies for intractable liver disease (6).