Latest News

Urgent action is needed to tackle hepatitis B stigma and discrimination, according to a new report released by the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA)

POSTED ON: 16 Nov, 2021

Across the world, stigma and discrimination impact people living with hepatitis B, with careers and personal relationships affected. The impact of stigma and discrimination also affects families and communities and negatively impacts testing strategies. The Stigma Report released by WHA brings together the latest research on stigma and discrimination and the stories of the people and communities affected by hepatitis B. The report highlights the need to address hepatitis B stigma and discrimination so that no one has to suffer the additional consequences of living with hepatitis B. 

Danjuma Adda, president-elect of WHA, whose own story features in the report, said. – “Stigma and discrimination can have a huge impact on the lives of people living with hepatitis B. It impacts our rights to work, to travel and to live our lives. The Stigma report shows that it is time to tackle this issue to protect the rights of the millions of people living with hepatitis B. We can no longer suffer in silence; the time for action is now.” 

Two hundred ninety-six million people live with hepatitis B worldwide, and for many, their lives are made infinitely more challenging by stigma and discrimination. In a 2017 survey of WHA members, 93% of respondents indicated that hepatitis-related stigma and discrimination impacted people in their countries, yet little is being done globally to tackle the issue. 

Cary James, CEO of the World Hepatitis Alliance said. – “This new report highlights the real need for action to tackle stigma and discrimination. Decision-makers must work alongside the people and communities impacted by hepatitis B, stamp out the stigma and discrimination, and support the people and communities affected. We can’t wait for action; stigma harms people every day and stops people from coming forward for testing and screening services, causing late diagnosis of hepatitis B, leading to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Early diagnosis means that effective care and treatment can be made available. Decision-makers must understand the need to address stigma and discrimination as part of efforts to eliminate hepatitis B.” 

The new report gives clear policy suggestions to assist decision-makers in addressing hepatitis B stigma and discrimination. Key to the success of these is the engagement of the people and communities impacted by hepatitis B. 

Download the report at www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/stigma 

A webinar in December will bring together experts and people impacted by stigma and discrimination to discuss the issue and the actions needed to tackle stigma and discrimination. Sign up for the webinar at www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/registration 

About WHA

The World Hepatitis Alliance is an international network of over 300 organisations in 100 countries. WHA represents the 350 million people living with viral hepatitis worldwide. WHA strives to support and promote the voices of the people and communities affected by viral hepatitis, to raise the profile of viral hepatitis and to establish comprehensive hepatitis strategies in all countries. Through better awareness, prevention, care, support and access to treatment, the ultimate goal is to work with governments to eliminate these diseases by 2030.

Find out more at www.worldhepatitisalliance.org

International Workshop on HBV Cure 2021 Taking Place 9-10 November ONLINE

POSTED ON: 22 Oct, 2021

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.

Learn more here.

Register here.

 

 

Stay up to date with ICE-HBV. sign up for our newsletter here.

Toronto Symposium on HBV Cure: The Mechanisms Behind Combination Therapies – Recordings Now Available

POSTED ON: 19 Oct, 2021

On  30 September 2021 around the 2021 International HBV Meeting in Toronto, ICE-HBV organized the Toronto Symposium on HBV Cure: The Mechanisms Behind Combination Therapies. The event was aimed at scientists, clinicians, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry representatives. The symposium, chaired by Fabien Zoulim and John Tavis, debated challenges surrounding combination therapies in order to propose a way forward.

You can watch all the whole Symposium below:

HBV Cure: The Mechanisms Behind Combination Therapies

You can watch individual speaker recordings here:

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?

 

HBV Community Forum Recording at the 2021 International HBV Meeting

POSTED ON: 08 Oct, 2021

On  30 September 2021 around the 2021 International HBV Meeting in Toronto, ICE HBV, together with the Hepatitis B Foundation organized the 2nd Hepatitis B Community Forum. The event was aimed at bringing together scientists and the Hepatitis B community.

You can watch the video here:

Program and Video Timestamps:

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

1:25:17 Closing Remarks by Dr. Harry Janssen

Finding a Cure for Hepatitis B: Asia-Pacific Regional Webinar – Videos

POSTED ON: 23 Sep, 2021

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?

 

Program Finalized for the HBV Community Forum at the International HBV Meeting

POSTED ON: 15 Sep, 2021
The program has been finalized for the HBV Community Forum, taking place on 30 September 2021 at the International HBV Meeting in Toronto and online.

Download the flyer here.

See the program below:

Networking Breakfast 7am  
Welcome Remarks 7:30am Dr. Timothy Block, President, Hepatitis B Foundation and Baruch S. Blumberg Institute
Session I Update on the Global Response to HBV 7:30-8:15 Moderator: Jordan Feld ·      HBV Science 101, Thomas Tu ·      The Road to HBV Cure – New Findings, John Tavis (8 min) ·      Towards HBV Elimination, Chari Cohen (8 min) ·      QAs    
Session II Panel Discussion  The Challenge of Hepatitis B in Canada 8:15 to 9:00 Moderator: Jordan Feld The HBV epidemic in Canada, Carla Coffin, Canadian Hepatitis B Network (10 min) Participants (5 min each) ·      Karen ·      Olukunle ·      David ·      Hassan ·      Jeffrey
Closing Remarks         Harry Janssen, Director, Toronto Centre for Liver Disease, Chair of Global Hepatitis Summit and AASLD Hepatitis Special Interest Group    
 

 

The price tag of a potential cure for chronic hepatitis B infection: A cost threshold analysis for USA, China and Australia

POSTED ON: 08 Sep, 2021

The price tag of a potential cure for chronic hepatitis B infection: A cost threshold analysis for USA, China and Australia

ICE HBV Stakeholders Group members publish article in Liver International:

Find the article here: The price tag of a potential cure for chronic hepatitis B infection: A cost threshold analysis for USA, China and Australia

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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusion
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.

Tenofovir Reduces Severity of COVID-19 in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B (From ILC 2021)

POSTED ON: 02 Jul, 2021

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