About Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is an inflammatory liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV is easily transferable, especially during birth from mother to child, by sexual contacts and through open wounds, contaminated syringes and accessories. In particular in newborns and young children the infection can become chronic, putting the HBV carrier at risk to develop liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
The most important things about hepatitis B:
- The hepatitis B virus is transmitted through blood and body fluids
- The main transmission route is mother to child transmission. HBV-replicating mothers are likely to infect their newborns (up to 95%), if no prophylaxis is given.
- In Africa, postnatal infection is frequently observed most likely through wounds or scratches.
- Approximately 90% of HBV-infected infants develop chronic infection, while the majority of adults can eliminate the virus
- The infection in adults becomes chronic in 5 – 10% of cases
- Transmission routes in adults are sexual contacts, contaminated blood products or instruments and drug abuse with contaminated syringes and accessories.
- Prophylactic vaccination can safely prevent hepatitis B.
For more detailed information about hepatitis B disease, prevention, diagnosis and currently available treatments we kindly refer to the Hepatitis B Foundation whom we closely collaborate with.
In case of insecurity about someone’s personal status there are opportunities for the public to get tested for potential HBV infection.
Locations for testing in Europe can be found here.
Can I contribute to/ participate in TherVacB as a Hepatitis B patient?
A European registry of chronic hepatitis B patients is currently being established as part of the TherVacB project. Registration will start in July 2020 – the link will be provided here.
People with virological and host parameters that meet the inclusion criteria can be enrolled into the clinical trial which allows to enroll approximately 90 participants in Europe and 20-30 in Tanzania/Africa. In this clinical trial, modifications of TherVacB shall be tested for safety and tolerability and will be compared to define optimal efficacy in patients.
Other ongoing studies on compounds in development for chronic hepatitis B and HBV cure can be found here.
When will the clinical trial start?
The clinical trial is planned to start in July 2021.
When will the therapy be available for patients?
The clinical trial presented above represents an initial safety and efficacy trial in chronically infected hepatitis B patients. If this trial is successful, further clinical phase II and III trials have to follow to complete the clinical development. This is requested routinely for all new medical treatments before they can be approved for routine clinical use.
If TherVacB is efficient and passes all clinical trials and will have proven its capacity to cure HBV, a product launch is expected around 2028.