Hepatitis B: Examining New Therapeutic Approaches
Announced on Aug 07, 2008
For chronic hepatitis B patients who are no longer responsive to lamivudine--the currently accepted treatment option--findings from a TGRI-led international study of the drug entecavir point to a new therapy option that lowers the levels of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA.
To determine the efficacy, safety and resistance of entecavir in non-responsive lamivudine patients, study lead Dr. Morris Sherman and colleagues recruited a total of 286 patients and assigned them to one of two treatment groups.
By the end of the first year of study, the proportion of patients in the entecavir group with clinically significant decreased levels of HBV DNA increased from 65% to 81% and remained consistent throughout the second year of the study.
"Second year findings show that patients continue to benefit from entecavir without any major safety concerns and that this treatment holds real promise for patients no longer responsive to lamivudine," says Dr. Sherman. "For patients with very high baseline levels of HBV DNA, treatment response with entecavir may be heightened by combining it with other antivirals."
Hepatology. 2008 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print]. [Pubmed abstract]. Research supported by Bristol-Squibb.
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