Organized by Virology Education in close collaboration with the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease and chaired by Drs. Harry Janssen and Adam Gehring, the International Workshop on HBV Cure has since 2014 been a scientific platform that acts as a catalyst to accelerate the progress for achieving a cure. In order to optimize curative treatment for HBV, outstanding speakers from around the globe will share the newest therapeutic options for viral hepatitis, and experts will discuss the path forward to cure this deadly disease, leading to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. This workshop also brings together global inter-disciplinary experts to provide a framework for how academia and industry should collaborate to achieve the goal of curing hepatitis B.
01:50 Doug Mayers Chief Medical Officer and Co-founder of Antios Therapeutics 04:19 Tse-I Lin Vice President, Early Compound Development at Aligos Therapeutics 08:15 Oliver Lenz Senior Scientific Director Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at Janssen 12:10 Michael Sofia Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Arbutus Biopharma, Inc. 15:32 William Delaney Chief Scientific Officer at Assembly Bio 18:50 Summary of industry initial responses by Harry Janssen Q&A Discussion 19:33 To what extent do the companies use withdrawal of nucleos analog treatment as a therapeutic option or not? 28:17 Do you think antivirals by itself will do the job or whether we need true immune modifiers? 33:36 Would there be room for partial cure (of HBV?) 39:36 Should we individualize treatment (of HBV)? 43:25 What strategies do your companies see are viable for keeping costs down enough for them to be able to be used in resource limited settings? 46:47 Comments by Massimo Levrero 48:41 What is the time that you think is reasonable for a pure antiviral combination to be used in patients to hope to have these kind of results?
0:01:34 – Orange Shirt Day Introduction by Dr. Carla Coffin on Orange Shirt Day
Session I: Update on the Global Response to HBV
0:03:17 – Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Timothy Block 0:06:30 – HBV Science 101 by Dr. Thomas Tu 0:15:30 The Road to HBV Cure – New Findings by Dr. John Tavis 0:26:45 Towards HBV Elimination by Dr. Chari Cohen 0:36:19 Q&A Session moderated by Dr. Jordan Feld
Session II: The Challenge of Hepatitis B in Canada – Community Forum 0:49:12 – The HBV Epidemic in Canada by Dr. Carla Coffin 1:01:36 – Community Forum Stories from Lived Experiences (Craig, David, and Miral) 1:01:54 Craig 1:05:33 David 1:10:58 Miral 1:15:15 Q&A Session with Community Forum
On 29 July 2021 for World Hepatitis Day ICE HBV, together with Coalition to Eradicate Viral Hepatitis in Asia Pacific (CEVHAP) and Yellow Warriors Society Philippines, Inc. (YWSP), co-hosted the webinar Finding a Cure for Hepatitis B: Asia-Pacific Regional Webinar. An event aimed discussing the latest research in HBV Cure and surrounding topics with people living with HBV and their community.
Speakers were Dee Lee, Inno Community Development Organisation, China, Lien Tran, Doherty Institute Melbourne, Margaret Hellard, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, and Seng Gee Lim, National University Health System, Singapore.
You can watch recordings of the webinars here:
Seng Gee Lim (NUS Singapore) on HBV Science for the Community
Margaret Hellard (Burnet Institute) on Hepatitis B Health Care Access in Asia Pacific
Remarks From Lived Experience – Hepatitis B Community Webinar Asia Pacific
HBV Functional Cure Q&As: For Hepatitis B what does functional cure mean?
Abstract Background & Aims
We aim to capture the economic impact of a potential cure for chronic hepatitis B infection (CHB) in three countries (USA, China and Australia) with different health systems and epidemics to estimate the threshold drug prices below which a CHB cure would be cost-saving and/or highly cost-effective.
We simulated patients’ hepatitis B progression, under three scenarios: current long-term suppressive antiviral therapy, functional cure defined as sustained undetectable HBsAg and HBV DNA, and partial cure defined as sustained undetectable HBV DNA only after a finite, 48-week treatment.
Compared with current long-term antiviral therapy, a 30% effective functional cure among patients with and without cirrhosis in the USA, China and Australia would yield 17.50, 17.32 and 20.42 QALYs per patient, and 20.61, 20.42 and 20.62 QALYs per patient respectively. In financial terms, for CHB patients with and without cirrhosis, this would be cost-saving at a one-time treatment cost under US$11 944 and US$6694, respectively, in the USA, US$1744 and US$1001 in China, and US$12 063 and US$10 983 in Australia.
We show that in purely economic terms, a CHB cure will be highly cost-effective even if effective in only 30% of treated patients. The threshold price for cure is largely determined by the current antiviral drug costs, since it will replace a daily antiviral pill that is inexpensive and effective, although not curative. The likely need for combination therapies to achieve cure will also present cost challenges. While cost-effectiveness is important, it cannot be the only consideration, as cure will provide many benefits in addition to reduced liver disease and HCC, including eliminating the need for a long-term daily pill and reducing stigma often associated with chronic viral infection.
Encouraging data from a new study found that antiretroviral drug, tenofovir, prevented serious COVID-19 illness amongst people living with chronic Hepatitis B.
A study conducted in Spain found that antiretrovira drug tenofovir reduced the severity of COVID-19 in patients with chronic Hepatitis B.
Beatriz Mateos Muñoz, PhD Specialist in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Hospital Universitario Ramón in Spain, said the study analysed data from 4736 patients from 28 Spanish hospitals.
Of the 117 COVID-19 positive patients who were identified, 67 were taking tenofovir and 50 were on entecavir, an antiviral drug in the treatment of hepatitis B virus infection. Muñoz said the incidence of COVID-19 in patients on tenofovir or entecavir were similar, but that patients on entecavir “more often had severe COVID-19, required ICU, ventilatory support, had longer hospitalization or died”.
The study found that tenofovir seemed to offer some protection in patients with chronic hepatitis B infected by COVID-19.
“In multivariate logistic regression adjusted by age, sex, obesity, comorbidities and fibrosis stage, tenofovir reduced by 6-fold the risk of severe COVID-19. Patients with chronic hepatitis B on tenofovir have a lower risk of severe COVID-19 infection than those on entecavir.”
This is an excerpt from the article “Leading Researchers Highlight the Impact of COVID-19 on Global Liver Disease” on Health Policy Watch. Read more here.
Thursday 24 June 2021 (Geneva, Switzerland)– Leading hepatology researchers announced important new developments in hepatitis research at the International Liver Congress 2021 today. This includes new data on antivirals to cure Hepatitis B and Hepatitis D and the application of infusion chemotherapy with P-1 inhibitors to treat liver cancer.Other announcements included a review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts to eliminate Hepatitis C in the U.S and some encouraging data from a trial of a new liver dialysis device to treat acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF).
“Scientists and advocates have long argued that if we are realistically going to eliminate Hepatitis B, then we will need a functional cure,” said Philip Newsome, Secretary General of EASL and Professor of Experimental Hepatology and Director of the Centre for Liver Research at the University of Birmingham in the UK. “The results from the trial of RNAi therapeutic drug VIR-2218 are an encouraging example that a cure is possible sooner than later with potential real-world implications for the 300 million people living with the disease.”
Today’s official press conference highlighted five studies covering treatment and cure research for hepatitis and acute on chronic liver failure selected from over 1500 abstracts being presented at ILC 2021.