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HEPATITIS B

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B

 

INFECTIOUS DISEASES & VACCINES - HEPATITIS B

We are committed to easing the burden faced by the many millions of people living with chronic hepatitis B

An estimated 15 million people live with hepatitis B in the World Health Organization European Region, resulting in about 56,000 deaths each year.[1] Most people only discover they have hepatitis B after developing advanced disease.[2]

Current treatments for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection interfere with viral replication and can slow the progression to cirrhosis, reduce the incidence of liver cancer and improve long-term survival, but most patients must stay on daily therapy for the rest of their lives and their levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) remain elevated.[2]

Our goal is to find a functional cure* for CHB after a finite period of treatment.[2] In addition to avoidance of lifelong management, which is challenging for patients in the long term, a functional cure could help them avoid the stigma often associated with CHB. We are committed to creating a future where CHB will be a thing of the past.[2]

Structure of hepatitis B

Worldwide, hepatitis B causes approximately one death every 30 seconds, mostly from complications, such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma[3]

Stigma is a major barrier to successful prevention, diagnosis and treatment for hepatitis B, but this is often unrecognised and unaddressed.[4]It is essential to our research to address feelings of exclusion, isolation and blame as they can impact patients’ treatment decisions and adherence.

*N.B. A functional cure for chronic hepatitis B is defined as sustained, loss of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) with or without seroconversion to hepatitis B surface antibody.[2]

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References

[1]World Health Organization Europe. Hepatitis B Factsheet. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/377251/Fact-Sheet-H.... Accessed: December 2020.

[2]WHO. Hepatitis B Key facts. Available: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-b. Accessed: December 2020.

[3]Hepatitis B Foundation. Hepatitis B fast facts. Available at: http://www.hepb.org/assets/Uploads/Hepatitis-B-Fast-Facts-8-28-18-FINAL.pdf. Accessed: December 2020.

[4]WHO Europe. Action plan for the health sector response to viral hepatitis in the WHO European Region. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/357236/Hepatitis-97.... Accessed December 2020.