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Advancing the regulatory path on hepatitis B virus treatment and curative research: a stakeholders consultation

Author List
Jonathan Liu
Pedro Goicochea
Timothy Block
Carol L Brosgart
Eric F Donaldson
Oliver Lenz
Seng Gee Lim
Ed G Marins
Poonam Mishra
Marion G Peters
Veronica Miller

Abstract

Hepatitis B infection remains a significant disease burden around the world, with an estimated two billion individuals infected and 350 million living with chronic hepatitis B. Current antivirals are efficacious, but require lifelong treatment for the majority of infected individuals. The field is galvanised to improve diagnostics and treatment with the goal to develop shorter, finite treatments leading to viral control after treatment discontinuation. Achievement of complete and functional cure is challenged by the complexity of the virus life cycle, the lack of adequate preclinical models, the cccDNA-mediated persistence of HBV in liver cells, the lack of validated biomarkers to predict viral control and cure, and the probable need for combination treatment involving antiviral- and immune-based strategies. Experts from diverse stakeholder groups participating in the HBV Forum (a project of the Forum for Collaborative Research) contributed their expertise and perspective to resolving issues and overcoming barriers in the regulatory path for novel HBV therapeutic strategies; addressing gaps in preclinical models, diagnostics, clinical trial design, biomarkers and endpoints, and public health efforts. Interviewees highlighted the need for open and collaborative ongoing dialogues among stakeholders in a neutral space as a critical process to move the field forwards. The Forum model facilitates dialogue and deliberation of this nature, with dedicated experts from all stakeholder groups participating. The promise of an HBV cure is exciting. Now is the time to work together toward that goal.

Article Category

Hepatitis B (HBV)

Article Type

Reviews

Posted Date

31-12-2016

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