At Janssen, we have an ambitious goal. We strive to bring forth medical innovations that improve the lives of people affected by hepatitis to ensure future generations can live without fear of the disease.
Janssen’s research and development efforts in targeting hepatitis focus on chronic hepatitis B, where there is a high unmet medical need.
Chronic hepatitis B, caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), is a potentially fatal liver disease that threatens the health of more than 257 million people worldwide.1 In 2015, there were an estimated 887,000 deaths due to complications of hepatitis B, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.1
The Magnitude of the Problem is Huge
The World Health Organization (WHO) and global hepatitis community recently outlined barriers to eliminating viral hepatitis and the burden it inflicts on the 328 million people living with hepatitis C and B worldwide, healthcare systems and society at large.2
As part of the Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis (2016-2021), the WHO has called for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a major public health challenge by 2030. This was adopted by 194-member states in May 2016.
The Need to Fight Against Hepatitis B
Despite available treatments, cure rates for chronic hepatitis B remain low. We seek to overcome the treatment challenges in chronic hepatitis B, such as the need for people to require life-long therapy. Our aim is to develop a functional cure for chronic hepatitis B by building a promising internal pipeline of complementary solutions and advancing them into the clinic as rapidly as possible.
We are actively pursuing multiple complementary hepatitis B assets with either direct acting antiviral or host immune modulation activity. These molecules form the basis for our efforts to develop treatment regimens that achieve higher rates of functional cure. Our strategy involves investigating a wave approach where individual treatments are combined and identifying and evaluating combination regimens that take advantage of synergies between multiple classes of drugs.
Despite the unprecedented advances in the treatment of viral hepatitis, significant unmet needs remain. We are striving to bring forth further medical innovations for chronic hepatitis B to improve the lives of all those affected.
Leveraging our experience in viral diseases and immunology, our clinical development program in hepatitis B is an important part of our ongoing commitment to improve the lives of people affected by hepatitis.
1 World Health Organization. (2017). Hepatitis B. [online]. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/ Last accessed: February 2018.
2 World Health Organization. (2017). Hepatitis C. [online]. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/ Last accessed: February 2018.