Development of novel therapeutics for chronic hepatitis B

Abstract

Chronic infection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) presents one of the serious public health challenges worldwide. Current treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is limited, and is composed of interferon and nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI). Interferon is poorly tolerated and is only responsive in a small fraction of CHB patients and NRTIs often face the problem of emergence of drug resistance during long-term treatment. The current treatment of CHB can be improved in several ways including genotyping mutations associated with drug resistance before treatment to guide the choice of NRTIs and suitable combinations among NRTIs and interferon. It is important to continue research in the identification of novel therapeutic targets in the life cycle of HBV or in the host immune system to stimulate the development of new antiviral agents and immunotherapies. Several antiviral agents targeting HBV entry, cccDNA, capsid formation, viral morphogenesis and virion secretion, as well as two therapeutic vaccines are currently being evaluated in preclinical studies or in clinical trials to assess their anti-HBV efficacy.

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Correspondence to You-hua Xie.

Additional information

Foundation items: This work was supported by “973” project (2005CB522902), Grand Science and Technology Special Project (2008ZX10002-010, 015) and Shanghai Municipal Government (8410706800).

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Xie, Yh., Hong, R., Liu, W. et al. Development of novel therapeutics for chronic hepatitis B. Virol. Sin. 25, 294–300 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12250-010-3138-9

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Key words

  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Treatment
  • Chronic infection
  • Antiviral