NIH Develops Strategic Plan for Hepatitis B Virus Cure

December 12, 2019

With support from academia, patient advocacy organizations, private and nonprofit companies, government organizations, and clinical trial networks funded by the NIH, a new plan was developed to focus on HBV biology, sharing tools and resources, and strategy creation.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) released a

in November 2019 to help find a cure for hepatitis B virus (HBV), a sexually transmitted infection that can cause an acute or chronic infection.

According to a December 10, 2019 NIH press release, the NIH defines the cure for HBV as “a sustained loss of a specific protein on the surface of HBV called hepatitis B virus surface antigen - preferably with antibodies against the antigen and undetectable viral DNA after completion of a finite course of treatment.” With support from academia, patient advocacy organizations, private and nonprofit companies, government organizations, and clinical trial networks funded by the NIH, the new plan was developed to focus on three areas of research including:

  • HBV biology-researchers will pinpoint the viral and host factors that lead to disease, immunity, reactivation, transmission, and the effect of co-infections.

  • Sharing tools and resources-researchers will work on standardizing and sharing reagents and assays, improving and creating new animal models, and establishing biomarkers for disease progression and response to therapy.

  • Strategy creation-this could potentially involve blocking viral replication, stimulating anti-HBV immune responses, or eliminating HBV-infected cells.

The strategic plan will also expand the NIH’s HBV portfolio and the US National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.

Source: NIH