The final programme for the ICE-HBV Serum Biomarkers Workshop to be held over Zoom on the 5th and 12th of October 2020 has been released. Please see the attached document for the full programme, objectives and background.
Although there are highly effective therapies for hepatitis B infection, none currently offer the reliable prospect of a cure and there are few available options for hepatitis D. Today, progress towards the development of curative treatments for hepatitis B and HBV/HDV coinfection were showcased at Digital ILC 2020, with novel molecules encompassing several mechanisms of action.
Results from trials of three agents targeting the transcription of viral proteins were reported: the RNA interference (RNAi) therapy VIR-2218 and the antisense oligonucleotides ISIS 505358/GSK3228836 and RO7062931. All showed reductions in hepatitis B surface antigen, particularly in patients also receiving nucleos(t)ide reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Phase 2 clinical trials in virally suppressed chronic hepatitis B patients have also demonstrated initial efficacy and favourable safety profiles for the hepatitis B core inhibitor ABI-H0731 and the oral TLR8 agonist, selgantolimod. These two therapies work through direct targeting of viral proteins and immunomodulation, respectively, showing the potential viability of multiple routes towards a cure for hepatitis B.
In patients with chronic HBV/HDV coinfection, high-doses of first-in-class entry inhibitor bulevirtide, administered in combination with PEG-IFNα or tenofovir, were well tolerated and led to continuous decline in HDV RNA that was maintained over 48 weeks of treatment. This highlights a potential new treatment option for the most severe form of viral hepatitis and a significant unmet need in the field.
ICE-HBV is organizing an virtual and interactive workshop on HBV biomarkers endorsed by the International HBV Meeting. The event is aimed at scientists, clinicians, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry representatives. The workshop, chaired by Anna Kramvis and Peter Revill, is put together by the ICE-HBV serum biomarkers working group. Both classic and future biomarkers will be discussed. The workshop will lead to a consensus statement on promising serum biomarkers.
“The global burden of viral hepatitis is substantial; in terms of mortality, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infections are on a par with HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, among the top four global infectious diseases. In 2016, the 194 Member States of the World Health Organization committed to eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030, with a particular focus on hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infection. With only 10 years to go until the 2030 deadline is reached, and although much progress has been made towards elimination, there are still some important gaps in terms of policy and progress. In this Viewpoint, we asked a selection of scientists and clinicians working in the viral hepatitis field for their opinions on whether elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030 is feasible, what the key areas of progress are and what the focus for the next 10 years and beyond should be for viral hepatitis elimination.”
Find this #WorldHepatitisDay opinion piece from ICE-HBV incoming chair Fabien Zoulim and colleagues here.
Despite the existence of an excellent preventative vaccine and antiviral therapies which effectively control the virus, chronic hepatitis B affects 257 million people and is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The global hepatitis B research community is working together with people living with hepatitis B to develop cures and many approaches are currently in early stage clinical trials. Until these cures are available, it is imperative that people are tested and receive the life-saving antiviral treatment to control their HBV infection and prevent liver disease.
ICE-HBV encourages more people to get tested and treated for chronic HBV, and to let people living with HBV know that the global HBV research community is in their corner and is striving for a cure, so we can live a #hepfreefuture
ICE-HBV, The Hepatitis B Foundation and the World Hepatitis Alliance came together with many other stakeholders and agreed on the shortest route to HBV elimination. Check out their briefing here and use this in your activities with policy makers and lay audiences.
Today, the global mortality from viral hepatitis exceeds that of HIV, TB or malaria, and is likely to exceed the toll from those three diseases combined by 2040. Viral hepatitis elimination meets all criteria for inclusion in the UHC framework. However, today, start-up funding is essential.
Read the new WHO Report on our joint side-event at the Global Fund’s replenishement’s conference here.
ICE-HBV welcomes the following new funding opportunities for HBV Research:
FY20 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP), Department of Defense
This is an opportunity to submit proposals for hepatitis B research. You can download the application and eligibility criteria at https://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/prmrp. Pre-application letters of intent are due by April 16, 2020.
Research Towards Developing a Cure for HBV in HIV/HBV Co-Infection, NIAHD
This opportunity seeks to fill “scientific gaps needed to (a) inform HBV functional cure strategies by furthering our understanding of the interactions of HBV and HIV; and (b) advance the discovery and development of novel HBV interventions targeting HBV/HIV co-infection.” For more information, please visit: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-20-121.html