Hepatitis B and C
An estimated 325 million people worldwide are living with viral hepatitis B and C. There are 9 times more people infected with hepatitis than HIV and it is the second largest infectious disease killer with 1.4 million deaths a year, after tuberculosis. Roughly 80% of people living with hepatitis B and C lack prevention knowledge, testing and treatment services.
The World Health Organization has declared that viral hepatitis is an international public health challenge comparable to other major communicable diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. While these have become less lethal, the number of viral hepatitis-related deaths are increasing.
Why do we need a cure for Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most widespread form of hepatitis worldwide even though a prophylactic vaccine and effective antiviral therapies are available. However, no cure currently exists.
In 2015, WHO estimated that 257 million people were living with chronic hepatitis B infection and it resulted in an estimated 887,000 deaths, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis is responsible for 30% of all cases of cirrhosis and 53% of liver cancer. In the upcoming decades, liver cancer deaths are expected to increase while most other cancer deaths are on the decrease.
Is now a good time to find a cure for HBV?
There is global momentum pushing for a cure of HBV. Recent discoveries are enabling for a new era in HBV research, including:
Identification of the NTCP receptor (the point of entry the virus uses to infect cells)
Improved cell culture and animal models
The characterisation of the function of HBx (the viral protein that favours the replication of the virus)
Increased knowledge of HBV minichromosome biology
How can we cure HBV?
As the natural clearance of acute HBV does not always result in eradication of the reservoir ccDNA, complete eradication of the virus (and all its replicative intermediates) may be an unrealistic outcome. Therefore, what will most likely be required is a combination of strategies that target both the viral replication cycle and enhance the immune response to viral antigens, resulting in a functional cure.
Hep B Surface Antigens
|orb82356||Hepatitis B Surface Ag (ad) protein||Human Plasma|
|orb108198||HBsAg protein||Human Blood|
|orb176371||HBsAg (ay) protein||Human Blood|
|orb308705||HBsAg-Ay protein||Human Blood|
|orb308706||HBsAg-Ad protein||Human blood|
Hep B Surface Recombinant Antigens
|orb82327||HBsAg (ad) recombinant protein||Saccharomyces cerevisiae|
|orb358061||HBsAg (adr) protein||CHO Cells|
|orb82535||HBsAg (ayw) recombinant protein||S. cerevisiae|
|orb82536||HBsAg (adw) recombinant protein||S. cerevisiae|
Hep B Core Recombinant Antigen
|orb82587||Hepatitis B Core Ag, recombinant protein||Pichia pastoris|
Hep B e Recombinant Antigen
|orb82519||Hepatitis B Ag 'e' epitope recombinant protein||E. coli|
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is found worldwide, with an estimated 71 million people believed to be living with chronic HCV leading to almost 400,000 deaths each year.
There is currently no effective vaccine for hepatitis C, but antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of persons with the infection.
New HCV infections are usually asymptomatic and an estimated 57 million people worldwide are unaware they are living with the disease.
Most people affected by hepatitis C live in LMICs where there is a lack of access to testing. In 2015, of those diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, only 7% had access to treatment that cured within three months.
HCV damages the liver slowly over many years, often leading to irreversible scarring (cirrhosis).
Hepatitis C is a major cause of liver cancer.
Is now a good time to be researching HBV?
WHO have committed to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030 and there is widespread support to help achieve this with initiatives from World Hepatitis Alliance, Clinton Health Access Initiative and Medicines Patent Pool.
There are several vaccines in development which might prove to be the most powerful tool for defeating HCV.
Paired Antigens for ELISA & Lateral Flow Double Antigen Sandwich Assay:
|orb316809||E. coli HCV NS3/Core/NS4/NS5 protein||E. coli|
|orb316810||E. coli HCV NS3/Core/NS4/NS5 protein||E. coli|
World Health Organization. 2019. Hepatitis B. [Online]. [23 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-hepatitis-day/2019
NHS. 2019. Hepatitis B. [Online]. [18 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hepatitis-b/
World Health Organization. 2019. Hepatitis B. [Online]. [18 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-b
British liver trust. 2019. Hepatitis B. [Online]. [18 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/liver-information/liver-conditions/hepatitis-b/
International Coalition to Eliminate HBV. 2019. Hepatitis C. [Online]. [31 July 2019]. Available from: http://ice-hbv.org
International Coalition to Eliminate HBV. 2019. Hepatitis C. [Online]. [31 July 2019]. Available from: http://ice-hbv.org/hep-b-cure/why/
ISGlobal. 2018. The Time to Cure Hepatitis B is Now. [Online]. [31 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.isglobal.org/en_GB/-/ahora-es-el-momento-de-curar-la-hepatitis-b
ISGlobal. 2016. Hepatitis C: The New Battleground for Access to Essential Medicines. [Online]. [31 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.isglobal.org/en_GB/-/hepatitis-c-el-nuevo-campo-de-batalla-por-el-acceso-a-medicamentos-esenciales
NHS. 2018. Hepatitis C. [Online]. [18 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hepatitis-c/
World Health Organization. 2019. Hepatitis C. [Online]. [18 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-c
50 Years of Global Health Progress. IFPMA. Discovery to Cure in 25 Years. [Online]. [06 August 2019]. Available from: https://50years.ifpma.org/in-focus/hepatitis-c/