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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B

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

There are nearly 300 million people chronically infected with hepatitis B today. Fewer than 20% of patients know they have the disease, and of those only around 5% get treatment.1,2

Structure of hepatitis B virus

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

Our goal is to find a functional cure* for CHB after a finite period of treatment. In addition to avoidance of lifelong management, which is challenging for patients in the long term, functional cure eliminates HBsAg so patients are no longer infectious to others, helping them avoid the stigma often associated with CHB. We are committed to creating a future where CHB will be a thing of the past.

Hepatitis B causes approximately one death every 30 seconds, mostly from complications including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.3

We have a broad portfolio of compounds that leverage multiple modes of action, including potential first-in-class compounds. Our intention is to test select combinations in patients with CHB with the goal of achieving a functional cure.*

Stigma is a major barrier to successful prevention, diagnosis and treatment for hepatitis B, but this is often unrecognized 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 complete loss of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis B viral DNA from serum that is sustained for more than six months after cessation of treatment.
 

Related Links

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The structure of HIV
The structure of HIV
References

World Health Organization (WHO). Hepatitis B. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/. Last accessed: November 2019.
Lazarus J et al. The hepatitis B epidemic and the urgent need for cure preparedness. Nat Rev Gastro Hepat. 2018;15(9): 517-518.
Hepatitis B Foundation. Hepatitis B fast facts. Available at: http://www.hepb.org/assets/Uploads/Hepatitis-B-Fast-Facts-8-28-18-FINAL.pdf. Last accessed: December 2019
World Hepatitis Alliance. Barriers to diagnosis research. Available at: http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/missing-millions/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Find-the-Missing-Millions-Survey-Report-FINAL.pdf. Last accessed: November 2019.