ArticleLiterature Review

HBV replication inhibitors

Authors:
  • Ai-biopharma
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Chronic Hepatitis B Virus infections afflict >250 million people and kill nearly 1 million annually. Current non-curative therapies are dominated by nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) that profoundly but incompletely suppress DNA synthesis by the viral reverse transcriptase. Residual HBV replication during NA therapy contributes to maintenance of the critical nuclear reservoir of the HBV genome, the covalently-closed circular DNA, and to ongoing infection of naive cells. Identification of next-generation NAs with improved efficacy and safety profiles, often through novel prodrug approaches, is the primary thrust of ongoing efforts to improve HBV replication inhibitors. Inhibitors of the HBV ribonuclease H, the other viral enzymatic activity essential for viral genomic replication, are in preclinical development. The complexity of HBV’s reverse transcription pathway offers many other potential targets. HBV’s protein-priming of reverse transcription has been briefly explored as a potential target, as have the host chaperones necessary for function of the HBV reverse transcriptase. Improved inhibitors of HBV reverse transcription would reduce HBV’s replication-dependent persistence mechanisms and are therefore expected to become a backbone of future curative combination anti-HBV therapies.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... NAs suppress viremia at clinically undetectable levels in up to 76% of HBeAg (+) and 93% of HBeAg (−) patients after one year of treatment. Efficacy can vary in patients with different HBV genotypes [73,74]. Although some HBeAg (−) patients can discontinue treatment with NAs, their use is essentially life-long for the large majority of patients. ...
... However, virological relapse almost always occurs. Eight NAs have been approved against the HBV, of which the current recommended ones are entecavir and the two tenofovir prodrugs, disoproxil and alafenamide [73]. ...
... The discovery of NTCP as the entry receptor for HBV provided key knowledge on the viral entry mechanism, thus facilitating the identification of a variety of compounds The first approved NA which was effective against HBV was lamivudine (3TC, LMV, Epivir © , Zeffix © , Heptodin © , Hepitec © ). It was approved in the United States of America in 1998 [73], and it is administered once daily, with few side effects. It is no longer widely used because it is less potent than newer drugs and most patients develop resistance within one to five years [65]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis B virus infection affects over 250 million chronic carriers, causing more than 800,000 deaths annually, although a safe and effective vaccine is available. Currently used antiviral agents, pegylated interferon and nucleos(t)ide analogues, have major drawbacks and fail to completely eradicate the virus from infected cells. Thus, achieving a “functional cure” of the infection remains a real challenge. Recent findings concerning the viral replication cycle have led to development of novel therapeutic approaches including viral entry inhibitors, epigenetic control of cccDNA, immune modulators, RNA interference techniques, ribonuclease H inhibitors, and capsid assembly modulators. Promising preclinical results have been obtained, and the leading molecules under development have entered clinical evaluation. This review summarizes the key steps of the HBV life cycle, examines the currently approved anti-HBV drugs, and analyzes novel HBV treatment regimens.
... It has been reported that more than 257 million individuals suffer from chronic HBV infection and is the tenth leading cause of mortality globally with approximately 887,000 deaths per year [1,2]. Interferons and nucleos(t)ide analogues are available conventional medicines to treat chronic hepatitis B individuals targeting polymerase [3]. Interferons are effective in a limited number of patients and also periodically cause severe side effects on a daily basis. ...
... Consequently, deciphering the molecular mechanisms that regulate viral replication, stubbornness and latency is a pressing requirement to establish some unique approaches in order to accomplish virological antidote. The stubbornness of cccDNA, which is the main matrix of HBV persistence in the hepatocyte nucleus, after the cessation of nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) treatment, results in the recurrence and viral relapse [3]. The reverse transcription of pre-genomic RNA is primarily targeted by NAs therapies but does not target cccDNA episomal stubbornness in the nucleus of cell. ...
Article
Owing to have various limitations in approved therapeutic drugs such as lamivudine and interferons there is unmet need for screening of plant derived natural products to treat the hepatitis B virus (HBV) disease effectively. Present study evaluates the antiHBV potential of glycyrrhizin in HepG2 cells by using in-vitro and computational approach. Non-toxic doses of glycyrrhizin were evaluated using MTT assay and was observed that below 400 µM of glycyrrhizin is significantly non-toxic to HepG2 cells. After transient transfection of HepG2 cells with wild type construct (pHBV 1.3X) followed by dose dependent treatment with glycyrrhizin, our ELISA assay results revealed that glycyrrhizin significantly inhibited secreted HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg). To evaluate whether glycyrrhizin inhibits replication of HBV, our Real-Time PCR results demonstrated a significant reduction in replicative intermediates of HBV DNA and covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in pHBV-HepG2 transfected cells. A 3D crystal structure of HMGB1 (High mobility group box 1 protein) (1AAB) protein was formed and docked with glycyrrhizin and lamivudine. We performed 100 ns MD simulations analysis of HMGB1 and HMGB1-glycyrrhizin complex. The Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Toxicity (ADMET) properties were estimated by using SwissADME and AdmetSAR web tool. Our results validated that glycyrrhizin considerably decreases HBsAg, HBeAg secretion; extracellular HBV DNA and covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in dose a dependent manner. Docking of glycyrrhizin and lamivudine (positive control) showed good binding affinity with the active-site residues of the HMGB1 and formed stable complex (ΔG = −7.0 kcal mol⁻¹) and (ΔG = −4.3 kcal mol⁻¹) respectively, which might be responsible for its antiviral activity. Glycyrrhizin forms a stable complex with HMGB1 without causing any considerable conformational switching in the protein structure. Glycyrrhizin acts as HMGB1 inhibitor performed by computational approaches. Our study indicates the potential application of glycyrrhizin as promising class antiHBV candidate.
... Several ongoing combination trials evaluating CAM add-on to NUC and pegIFNα based regimens already support an enhanced antiviral efficacy compared to the respective monotherapy [227,229,242], and triple combination studies of NUC plus pegIFNα plus CAM are under way (see Table 1). Notably, also the classical treatment targets may be further advanced by long-acting NUCs [253,254], non-nucleosidic inhibitors of the P protein functions [255,256], or ways to reduce clearance of pegIFNα in the liver [257]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a small enveloped DNA virus which replicates its tiny 3.2 kb genome by reverse transcription inside an icosahedral nucleocapsid, formed by a single ~180 amino acid capsid, or core, protein (Cp). HBV causes chronic hepatitis B (CHB), a severe liver disease responsible for nearly a million deaths each year. Most of HBV’s only seven primary gene products are multifunctional. Though less obvious than for the multi-domain polymerase, P protein, this is equally crucial for Cp with its multiple roles in the viral life-cycle. Cp provides a stable genome container during extracellular phases, allows for directed intracellular genome transport and timely release from the capsid, and subsequent assembly of new nucleocapsids around P protein and the pregenomic (pg) RNA, forming a distinct compartment for reverse transcription. These opposing features are enabled by dynamic post-transcriptional modifications of Cp which result in dynamic structural alterations. Their perturbation by capsid assembly modulators (CAMs) is a promising new antiviral concept. CAMs inappropriately accelerate assembly and/or distort the capsid shell. We summarize the functional, biochemical, and structural dynamics of Cp, and discuss the therapeutic potential of CAMs based on clinical data. Presently, CAMs appear as a valuable addition but not a substitute for existing therapies. However, as part of rational combination therapies CAMs may bring the ambitious goal of a cure for CHB closer to reality.
... 4 The primary drugs for HBV infection are nucleos(t)ide analogs that block reverse transcription, but treatment is not curative and is life-long for most patients. 5,6 The HBV polymerase (P) that catalyzes reverse transcription has two additional domains, the terminal protein (TP) and spacer domains, that are absent in the much better understood retroviral reverse transcriptases (RT). Together, these unique domains account for almost half of P's sequence (Figure 1a). ...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronically infects >250 million people. It replicates by a unique protein-primed reverse transcription mechanism, and the primary anti-HBV drugs are nucleos(t)ide analogs targeting the viral polymerase (P). P has four domains compared to only two in most reverse transcriptases: the terminal protein (TP) that primes DNA synthesis, a spacer, the reverse transcriptase (RT), and the ribonuclease H (RNase H). Despite being a major drug target and catalyzing a reverse transcription pathway very different from the retroviruses, HBV P has resisted structural analysis for decades. Here, we exploited computational advances to model P. The TP wrapped around the RT domain rather than forming the anticipated globular domain, with the priming tyrosine poised over the RT active site. The orientation of the RT and RNase H domains resembled that of the retroviral enzymes despite the lack of sequences analogous to the retroviral linker region. The model was validated by mapping residues with known surface exposures, docking nucleic acids, mechanistically interpreting mutations with strong phenotypes, and docking inhibitors into the RT and RNase H active sites. The HBV P fold, including the orientation of the TP domain, was conserved among hepadnaviruses infecting rodent to fish hosts and a nackednavirus, but not in other non-retroviral RTs. Therefore, this protein fold has persisted since the hepadnaviruses diverged from nackednaviruses >400 million years ago. This model will advance mechanistic analyses into the poorly understood enzymology of HBV reverse transcription and will enable drug development against non-active site targets for the first time.
... Nucleoside (acid) analogues and interferon have become the first-line antiviral drugs for CHB (2, 6, 7). The target site of nucleoside (acid) analogues is the reverse transcriptase required in the process of HBV DNA replication (21). Nucleoside (acid) analogue therapy is fast-acting, safe, and well tolerated, but they are ineffective for covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in the nucleus, and the viral load will rebound after drug withdrawal. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective The aims of this study were to investigate the kinetic changes of serum, virological, and immunological markers during entecavir (ETV) antiviral therapy and to explore whether these indicators can predict the antiviral efficacy of ETV in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. Methods HBeAg-positive CHB patients were enrolled and treated with ETV 0.5 mg/day. Clinical biochemical, virological, and serological tests were performed at baseline and every 12 weeks during the 48-week treatment. Plasma levels of cytokines (Flt-3L, IFN-α2, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-17A, IL-6, TGF-β1, TGF-β2, TGF-β3, and TNF-α) were measured at baseline and at 12 and 24 weeks after treatment. Analysis of the trends of these clinical indicators in ETV antiviral therapy was performed. Results A total of 105 HBeAg-positive CHB patients were enrolled, and 100 of them completed 48 weeks of ETV treatment and follow-up. After 48 weeks of treatment, hepatitis B s antigen (HBsAg) decline ≥ 1 log10 was found in seven patients, but no patient achieved HBsAg disappearance. serological HBeAg disappeared in 13 patients, and serological HBeAg transformed in 3 patients. The baseline HBsAg and HBeAg levels, HBV DNA load, IL-10, and TGF-β1 levels in the complete virological response group were lower than those in the incomplete virological response group, while the ALT level in the complete virological response group was higher than that in the incomplete virological response group. Both univariate analysis and multivariate analysis showed that baseline biochemical indexes, virological indexes, and cytokine levels had no correlation with the complete virological response at 48 weeks. In multivariate analysis, low baseline HBV DNA load, and HBeAg and IL-10 levels were significantly associated with ALT normalization after 48 weeks of ETV treatment (HBeAg OR = 1.003, 95% CI 1.001–1.006, p = 0.007; HBV DNA OR = 0.184, 95% CI 0.046–0.739, p = 0.017; IL-10 OR = 0.040, 95% CI 0.972–0.999, p = 0.040). Conclusion Cytokine levels changed dynamically during ETV antiviral therapy. Low baseline HBV DNA load, and HBeAg and IL-10 levels were significantly associated with ALT normalization after 48 weeks of ETV treatment.
... A way to further reduce toxicity would therefore be to strictly deliver and/or activate the NA in the target cell type (hepatocytes in the case of HBV). 16 In the current issue of Journal of Hepatology, Higashi-Kuwata and colleagues 17 describe a novel nucleoside analogue with very potent and long-lasting anti-HBV activity. This NA, called E-CFCP (chemical name: (1S,3S,5S,E)-3-(2-amino-6-oxo-1,6-dihydro-9Hpurin-9-yl)-2-(fluoromethylene)-5-hydroxy-1-(hydro-xymethyl) cyclo-pentane-1-carbonitrile), is a guanosine analogue derived from 4'-cyano-methylene-carbocyclic-2'-deoxyguanosine (CMCdG) and has a structure similar to ETV. ...
Article
In worldwide clinical settings, several nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs), including tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), entecavir (ETV), and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF) are used to treat patients chronically infected with HBV.1,2 NAs are easily administrated orally and have favorable pharmacologic profiles.3 Their use is generally preferred to that of the immune stimulator pegylated-interferon (Peg-IFN)-alpha, which induces more adverse effects (AEs) and less virological suppression (i.e. HBV DNA decline in serum), although it is associated with a higher rate of HBsAg loss.1,2,4 Treatment indications for these NAs have been clearly defined by international societies, including EASL.1 Their efficacy to suppress/reduce HBV viremia and overall safety have been properly assessed in randomized controlled phase III clinical trials (i.e. registration trials) and in long-term real-world studies.1,2,4 When “no virologic resistance” occurs, long-term treatments with 1 of the 3 most used NAs (TDF, ETV, TAF) are associated with a prolonged virologic responses (i.e. viremia below detection levels by qPCR) in most patients (>95%), normalized alanine aminotransferase levels, regression of fibrosis, and altogether with the prevention of disease progression, including hepatocellular carcinoma development.
... Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection still disseminates across the world and causes the most common and fatal liver diseases including acute liver failure, chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis (LC), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) [1,2]. Nucleoside analogs and/or interferon are widely utilized antiviral drugs, which can effectively suppress virus replication, decrease serum HBV DNA to undetectable levels, mitigate liver fibrosis, and reduce HCC risk [3][4][5], however cannot eliminate the virus in patients. Recurrence after therapy discontinuation is emerging to be a common etiology of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic HBV infection [6]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a worldwide health problem and no eradicative therapy is currently available. Host T cell immune responses have crucial influences on the outcome of HBV infection, however the development of therapeutic vaccines, T cell therapies and the clinical evaluation of HBV-specific T cell responses are hampered markedly by the lack of validated T cell epitopes. This review presented a map of T cell epitopes functionally validated from HBV antigens during the past 33 years; the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) supertypes to present these epitopes, and the methods to screen and identify T cell epitopes. To the best of our knowledge, a total of 205 CD8+ T cell epitopes and 79 CD4+ T cell epitopes have been defined from HBV antigens by cellular functional experiments thus far, but most are restricted to several common HLA supertypes, such as HLA-A0201, A2402, B0702, DR04, and DR12 molecules. Therefore, the currently defined T cell epitope repertoire cannot cover the major populations with HLA diversity in an indicated geographic region. More researches are needed to dissect a more comprehensive map of T cell epitopes, which covers overall HBV proteome and global patients.
... HBV is the main cause of liver cirrhosis and HCC (Megahed and Zhou, 2020). The current non-therapeutic treatment is mainly nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs), which can profoundly but not completely inhibit the DNA synthesis of viral reverse transcriptase (Pierra Rouviere et al., 2020). Increasing evidence indicates that HBV interacts with hepatocyte innate immune signaling pathways and inhibits innate immunity. ...
Article
Full-text available
Inflammation is regulated by the host and is a protective response activated by the evolutionarily conserved immune system in response to harmful stimuli, such as dead cells or pathogens. cGAS-STING pathway is a vital natural sensor of host immunity that can defend various tissues and organs against pathogenic infection, metabolic syndrome, cellular stress and cancer metastasis. The potential impact of cGAS-STING pathway in hepatic ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury, alcoholic/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH), hepatic B virus infection, and other liver diseases has recently attracted widespread attention. In this review, the relationship between cGAS-STING pathway and the pathophysiological mechanisms and progression of liver diseases is summarized. Additionally, we discuss various pharmacological agonists and antagonists of cGAS-STING signaling as novel therapeutics for the treatment of liver diseases. A detailed understanding of mechanisms and biology of this pathway will lay a foundation for the development and clinical application of therapies for related liver diseases.
... 11. P as a drug target 11.1 Reverse transcriptase domain as a target Nucleos(t)ide analogs (NA) targeting the HBV RT active site dominate HBV therapy [151]. The NAs are converted to their triphosphate versions by cellular kinases to create the active forms that are substrates for HBV P. Incorporation of the NAs into either the minus-or plus-polarity HBV DNA terminates chain elongation either immediately (obligate chain terminators) or after synthesis of a few additional nucleotides (non-obligate chain terminators), blocking maturation of the viral DNA. ...
Chapter
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a hepatotropic, partially double-stranded DNA virus that replicates by reverse transcription and is a major cause of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Reverse transcription is catalyzed by the four-domain multifunctional HBV polymerase (P) protein that has protein-priming, RNA- and DNA-dependent DNA synthesis (i.e., reverse transcriptase), and ribonuclease H activities. P also likely promotes the three strand transfers that occur during reverse transcription, and it may participate in immune evasion by HBV. Reverse transcription is primed by a tyrosine residue in the amino-terminal domain of P, and P remains covalently attached to the product DNA throughout reverse transcription. The reverse transcriptase activity of P is the target for the nucleos(t)ide analog drugs that dominate HBV treatment, and P is the target of ongoing efforts to develop new drugs against both the reverse transcriptase and ribonuclease H activities. Despite the unusual reverse transcription pathway catalyzed by P and the importance of P to HBV therapy, understanding the enzymology and structure of HBV P severely lags that of the retroviral reverse transcriptases due to substantial technical challenges to studying the enzyme. Obtaining a better understanding of P will broaden our appreciation of the diversity among reverse transcribing elements in nature, and will help improve treatment for people chronically infected with HBV.
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance Salvia miltiorrhiza (the roots of S. miltiorrhiza Bunge, Danshen in Chinese), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been clinically used to prevent and treat various diseases, such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, and hepatitis B, in China and some other Asian countries. Lithospermic acid (LA), a polyphenol derived from S. miltiorrhiza, has been reported to exhibit multiple pharmacological properties, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, and anti-carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury activities. However, little is known about the anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) activity of LA. Aim of the study The study was projected to investigate the anti-HBV activity of LA in vitro (HepG2.2.15 and pHBV1.3-transfected HepG2 cells) and in vivo (pAAV-HBV1.2 hydrodynamic injection [HBV-HDI] mice) and explore the potential mechanism as well. Materials and methods Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) contents were detected by ELISA kits. HBV DNA and Hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) levels were evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry assay, respectively. The proteins in autophagy process, lysosomal acidic function, and autophagy-related signaling pathways were examined by Western blot. Transmission electron microscopy was used to observe the number of autophagosomes and autolysosomes. Confocal microscopy was applied to analyze the autophagic flux and lysosomal acidification, using mCherry-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-microtubule-associated protein light chain (LC)3 and lysosomal probes, respectively. Results LA exhibited anti-HBV activity by inhibiting HBV DNA replication in HepG2.2.15 and pHBV-transfected HepG2 cells in dose- and time-dependent manners and hampering HBsAg and HBeAg levels in HepG2.2.15 cells to a certain extent. LA reduced HBV DNA, HBsAg/HBeAg, and HBcAg levels in the serum/liver tissues of HBV-HDI C57BL/6 mice during the 3-week treatment and suppressed the withdrawal rebound of HBV DNA and HBsAg in the mice serum. LA increased LC3-II protein expression and the number of autolysosomes/autophagosomes and promoted the degradation of sequestosome 1(p62) protein in vitro and in vivo. LA enhanced the co-localization of LC3 protein with autolysosomes, further confirming the ability of LA to induce a complete autophagy. Knockdown of autophagy-related gene (Atg) 7 or 5 in vitro and administration of 3-methyladenine (an autophagic inhibitor) in vivo disabled the inhibitory efficacy of LA on HBV DNA replication, suggesting that the anti-HBV efficacy of LA depended on its ability of inducing autophagy. LA could enhance lysosomal acidification and improve the function of lysosomes by promoting the protein expression of lysosomal-associated membrane protein (LAMP)-1, LAMP-2, and mature cathepsin D, which may contribute to the autophagic induction of LA. LA inhibited the activation of AKT and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) induced by HBV, which was reversed by IGF-1 (an agonist of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway), indicating that LA elicited autophagy through hampering the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Conclusion We revealed the anti-HBV activity and mechanism of LA in vitro and in vivo. This study facilitates a new understanding of the anti-HBV potent components of S. miltiorrhiza and sheds light on LA for further development as an active constituent or candidate used in the therapy against HBV infection.
Article
Standard literature procedures for the chemical synthesis of l-threose nucleosides generally employ l-ascorbic acid as starting material. Herein, we have explored two alternative routes that start from either l-arabitol or l-diethyl tartrate, both affording 2-O-methyl-l-threofuranose as a key building block for nucleobase incorporation. The access to multigram quantities of this glycosyl donor in a reproducible fashion allows for the preparation of 2'-deoxy-α-l-threofuranosyl phosphonate nucleosides on a large scale. This methodology was applied to the gram scale synthesis of an aryloxy amidate prodrug of phosphonomethoxydeoxythreosyl adenine. This prodrug exerted potent activity against an entecavir-resistant hepatitis B virus (HBV) strain, while leading to a significant reduction in the levels of HBV covalently closed circular DNA in a cellular assay. Furthermore, its remarkable anti-HBV efficacy was also confirmed in vivo using a hydrodynamic injection-based HBV mouse model, without relevant toxicity and systemic exposure occurring.
Article
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) ribonuclease H (RNaseH) is a promising but unexploited drug target. Inhibiting the RNaseH blocks viral reverse transcription by truncating the minus-polarity DNA strand, causing accumulation of RNA:DNA heteroduplexes, and abrogating plus-polarity DNA synthesis. Screening for RNaseH inhibitors is complicated by the presence of the minus-polarity DNA strand even when replication is fully inhibited because this residual DNA can be detected by standard screening assays that measure reduction in HBV DNA accumulation. We previously developed a strand-preferential qPCR assay that detects RNaseH replication inhibitors by measuring preferential suppression of the viral plus-polarity DNA strand. However, this assay employed cells grown in 6- or 12-well plates and hence was of very low throughput. Here, we adapted the assay to a 96-well format and conducted a proof-of-principle screen of 727 compounds. The newly developed assay is a valuable tool for anti-HBV drug discovery, particularly when screening for RNaseH inhibitors.
Article
Background: Hepatitis B virus capsid assembly modulators (HBV CAMs) are promising, clinically validated therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB). The safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles of GST-HG141, a novel HBV CAM, were evaluated in healthy Chinese volunteers. Method: This phase Ia study included two parts: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled single-ascending-dose (SAD) (50, 100, 200, 300, 400, or 500 mg) study comprising a food-effect investigation (300 mg), and a multiple-ascending-dose (MAD) (100 or 200 mg BID) study. Result: GST-HG141 reached the maximum plasma concentration (C max ) at 1.25–3.00 h (median T max ). The exposure exhibited a linear increase, while the mean half-life (t 1/2 ) ranged from 13.096 h to 22.121 h. The exposure of GST-HG141 (300 mg) was higher after food intake by about 2.4-fold. In the MAD study, steady-state was reached at around day 5, and the mean trough steady-state concentrations were 423 and 588 ng/mL for 50 and 100mg cohorts, respectively. The ratios of GST-HG141 accumulation were <1.5. GST-HG141 was well tolerated in healthy Chinese subjects. The rates of adverse events (AEs) in the GST-HG141 cohort did not differ from those of the placebo cohort. Conclusion: GST-HG141 was tolerated in healthy Chinese subjects. The safety and PK profiles of GST-HG141 support the further evaluation of its efficacy in individuals with CHB.
Article
The Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) ribonuclease H (RNase H) is an attractive but unexploited drug target. Here, we addressed three limitations to the current state of RNase H inhibitor development: i) Efficacy has been assessed only in transfected cell lines; ii) Cytotoxicity data are from transformed cell lines rather than primary cells; and iii) It is unknown how the compounds work against nucleos(t)ide analog resistant HBV strains. Three RNase H inhibitors from different chemotypes, 110 (α-hydroxytropolone), 1133 (N-hydroxypyridinedione), and 1073 (N-hydroxynapthyridinone), were tested in HBV-infected HepG2-NTCP cells for inhibition of cccDNA accumulation and HBV product formation. 50% effective concentrations (EC 50 s) were 0.049-0.078 μM in the infection studies compared to 0.29-1.6 μM in transfected cells. All compounds suppressed cccDNA formation by >98% at 5 μM when added shortly after infection. HBV RNA, intracellular and extracellular DNA, and HBsAg secretion were all robustly suppressed. The greater efficacy of the inhibitors when added shortly after infection is presumably due to blocking amplification of the HBV cccDNA, which suppresses events downstream of cccDNA formation. The compounds had 50% cytotoxic concentrations (CC 50 s) of 16-100 μM in HepG2-derived cell lines but were non-toxic in primary human hepatocytes, possibly due to the quiescent state of the hepatocytes. The compounds had similar EC 50 s against replication of wild-type, Lamivudine-resistant and Adefovir/Lamivudine-resistant HBV, as expected because the RNase H inhibitors do not target the viral reverse transcriptase active site. These studies expand confidence in inhibiting the HBV RNase H as a drug strategy and support inclusion of RNase H inhibitors in novel curative drug combinations for HBV.
Article
Polyoxygenated tropolones possess a broad range of biological activity, and as a result are promising lead structures or fragments for drug-development. However, structure-function studies and subsequent optimization have been challenging, in part due to the limited number of readily available tropolones and the obstacles to their synthesis. The oxidopyrylium [5+2] cycloaddition reaction can effectively generate a diverse array of 7-membered ring carbocycles, and as a result can provide a highly general strategy for tropolone synthesis. Here, we describe the use of 3-hydroxy-4-pyrone-based oxidopyrylium cycloaddition chemistry in synthesis of functionalized 3,7-dimethoxytropolones, 3,7-dihydroxytropolones, and isomeric 3-hydroxy-7-methoxytropolones through complementary benzyl alcohol-incorporating procedures. Antiviral activity of these molecules against herpes simplex virus-1 and hepatitis B virus is also described, highlighting the value of this approach and providing new structure-function insight relevant to their antiviral activity.
Article
The α-hydroxytropolones (αHT) are troponoid inhibitors of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication that can target the HBV ribonuclease H (RNase H) with sub-micromolar efficacies. αHTs and related troponoids (tropones and tropolones) can be cytotoxic in cell lines as measured by MTS assays that assesses mitochondrial function. Earlier studies suggest that tropolones induce cytotoxicity through inhibition of mitochondrial respiration. Therefore, we screened 35 diverse troponoids for effects on mitochondrial function, mitochondrial:nuclear genome ratio, cytotoxicity, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Troponoids as a class did not inhibit respiration or glycolysis, although the α-ketotropolone subclass did interfere with these processes. The troponoids had no impact on the mitochondrial DNA to nuclear DNA ratio after three days of compound exposure. Patterns of troponoid-induced cytotoxicity among three hepatic cell lines were similar for all compounds, but three potent HBV RNase H inhibitors were not cytotoxic in primary human hepatocytes. Tropolones and αHTs increased ROS production in cells at cytotoxic concentrations but had no effect at lower concentrations that efficiently inhibit HBV replication. Troponoid-mediated cytotoxicity was significantly decreased upon addition of the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine. These studies show that troponoids can increase ROS production at high concentrations within cell lines leading to cytotoxicity, but are not be cytotoxic in primary hepatocytes. Future development of αHTs as potential therapeutics against HBV may need to mitigate ROS production by altering compound design and/or by co-administration with ROS antagonists to ameliorate increased ROS levels.
Chapter
More than 250 million people suffer from chronic HBV infection worldwide, causing more than 800,000 deaths annually due to resulting liver diseases. Nucleos(t)ide analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors are currently one of two standard-of-care (SOC) treatments against chronic HBV infection. Like interferon-α, the other SOC treatment, these inhibitors can suppress viral replication, but do not effectively eliminate covalently closed circular HBV DNA, the stable template for lifelong viral transcription, from the nucleus of infected cells. In this chapter two of the most promising classes of direct-acting antivirals under clinical development to overcome this problem are discussed: HBV entry inhibitors and capsid assembly modulators. The data from studies on these direct-acting antivirals give hope for a future combination therapy regimen for HBV cure.
Article
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Despite an effective vaccine the prevalence of chronic infection remains high. Current therapy is effective at achieving on-treatment but not off-treatment viral suppression. Loss of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), the best surrogate marker of off-treatment viral suppression, is associated with improved clinical outcomes. Unfortunately, this endpoint is rarely achieved with current therapy because of their lack of effect on covalently closed circular DNA, the template of viral transcription and genome replication. Major advancements in our understanding of HBV virology along with better understanding of immunopathogenesis have led to the development of a multitude of novel therapeutic approaches with the prospect of achieving functional cure (HBsAg loss) and perhaps complete cure (clearance of cccDNA and integrated HBV DNA). This review will cover current best practice for managing chronic HBV infection and emerging novel therapies for HBV infection and their prospect for cure.
Article
Full-text available
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global public health challenge due to its highly contagious nature. It is estimated that almost 300 million people live with chronic HBV infection annually. Although nucleoside analogs markedly reduce the risk of liver disease progression, the analogs do not fully eradicate the virus. As such, new treatment options and drugs are urgently needed. Psoralen is a nourishing monomer of Chinese herb and is known to inhibit virus replication and inactivate viruses. In this study, we evaluated the potential of psoralen as an anti-HBV agent. Quantitative PCR and Southern blot analysis revealed that psoralen inhibited HBV replication in HepG2.2.15 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, psoralen was also active against the 3TC/ETV-dual-resistant HBV mutant. Further investigations revealed that psoralen suppressed both HBV RNA transcription and core protein expression. The transcription factor FOXO1, a known target for PGC1α co-activation, binds to HBV pre-core/core promoter enhancer II region and activates HBV RNA transcription. Co-immunoprecipitation showed that psoralen suppressed the expression of FOXO1, thereby decreasing the binding of FOXO1 co-activator PGC1α to the HBV promoter. Overall, our results demonstrate that psoralen suppresses HBV RNA transcription by down-regulating the expression of FOXO1 resulting in a reduction of HBV replication.
Article
Introduction: Oral nucleos(t)ide analogues (NUCs) are recommended as first-line therapy for chronic hepatitis B due to higher HBV-DNA suppression rates and safety profile. Long-term treatment with NUCs is often necessary to achieve durable viral suppression. Areas covered: This review provides an overview of the long-term safety data that have become available since entecavir (ETV) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) were first approved, and recent data on tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) in patients with CHB. Expert opinion: NUCs generally show remarkable safety in patients taking them for long periods. Nevertheless, renal and bone toxicity may occur in a minority of patients on TDF therapy. These effects have been overcome by the recent release of TAF. Moreover, the currently available data do not allow firm conclusions on superiority of TDF on ETV about HCC risk reduction. Observational studies involving more homogeneous cohorts are therefore needed; furthermore long-term studies assessing impact of TAF on this important topic are warranted.
Article
Full-text available
Background The hepatitis B virus (HBV) affects an estimated 290 million individuals worldwide and is responsible for approximately 900 000 deaths annually, mostly from complications of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although current treatment is effective at preventing complications of chronic hepatitis B, it is not curative, and often must be administered long term. There is a need for safe, effective, finite duration curative therapy. Aim Our aim was to provide a concise, up to date review of all currently available and emerging treatment options for chronic hepatitis B. Methods We conducted a search of PubMed, clinicaltrials.gov, major meeting abstracts and pharmaceutical websites for publications and communications on current and emerging therapies for HBV. Results Currently approved treatment options for chronic hepatitis B include peginterferon alpha‐2a and nucleos(t)ide analogues. Both options do not offer a ‘complete cure’ (clearance of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) and integrated HBV DNA) and rarely achieve a ‘functional cure’ (hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss). An improved understanding of the viral lifecycle, immunopathogenesis and recent advances in drug delivery technologies have led to many novel therapeutic approaches that are currently being evaluated in clinical trials including targeting of viral entry, cccDNA, viral transcription, core protein, and release of HBsAg and HBV polymerase. Additionally, novel immunological approaches that include targeting the innate and adaptive immune system and therapeutic vaccination are being pursued. Conclusion The breadth and scope of novel therapies in development hold promise for regimen/s that will achieve functional cure.
Article
Minor structural modifications of acyclic nucleoside phosphonates can dramatically affect their antiviral properties. This work discloses a shift in the selectivity spectrum of 3-hydroxy-2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl (HPMP) nucleotides from herpesviruses toward hepatitis B virus (HBV) induced by their acyclic chain 2-substitution with a nonpolar group. Two series of racemic (R,S)-2-methyl-3-hydroxy-2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl (MHPMP) and (R,S)-2-ethynyl-3-hydroxy-2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl (EHPMP) nucleotides were initially synthesized. Among these, guanine-containing derivatives exhibited significant anti-HBV activities in the submicromolar range. Enantioenriched MHPMPG and EHPMPG analogues were subsequently obtained by Sharpless asymmetric epoxidation. The (S)-enantiomers possessed an 8- to 26-fold higher potency than the relative (R)-forms. A further comparison of the EC90 values indicated that (S)-EHPMPG inhibited HBV replication more effectively than its 2-methyl analogue. A phosphonodiamidate prodrug of (S)-EHPMPG was thus prepared and found to exert a remarkably high anti-HBV activity (EC50 = 9.27 nM) with excellent selectivity (SI50 > 10,787), proving to be a promising candidate for anti-HBV drug development.
Article
Hepatitis B represents a major global public health burden, which is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) with a high infection rate. Although several anti-HBV drugs have been developed for clinical treatment of hepatitis B, the current therapeutic strategies still suffer from undeniable adverse effects, insufficient efficacy after systemic administration and chronic inflammation. Here, we develop a carrier-free metal-organic hybrid nanoassembly that is co-loaded with tenofovir (TFV), an anti-viral agent and phosphorylated glycyrrhetinic acid (GAP), an anti-inflammatory compound (TFV/GAP/NA) to enhance the anti-HBV effect and alleviate the inflammatory response for hepatitis B treatment. The nanoassembly is easily prepared through the ionic interactions between the anionic phosphonate/phosphate groups from TFV/GAP and the zirconium cation, which has a stable nanostructure and a high drug-loading capacity. The nanoassembly prolongs the circulation time with reduced drug leakage in the blood and elevates drug accumulation in the liver after intravascular administration. After internalization mediated by the GAP ligand-GA receptor interaction, TFV/GAP/NA disassembles by the phosphatase-triggered degradation of the phosphate ester bonds in GAP and releases TFV, GAP and GA within the HBV-positive hepatocytes. The released TFV interferes with the HBV polymerase to inhibit the viral DNA replication, while the released GAP and GA suppress the pro-inflammatory protein expression. In mouse models, treatment with TFV/GAP/NA inhibits HBV production and alleviates inflammation-mediated liver injury.
Article
Full-text available
The circadian rhythm in humans is determined by the central clock located in the hypothalamus’s suprachiasmatic nucleus, and it synchronizes the peripheral clocks in other tissues. Circadian clock genes and clock-controlled genes exist in almost all cell types. They have an essential role in many physiological processes, including lipid metabolism in the liver, regulation of the immune system, and the severity of infections. In addition, circadian rhythm genes can stimulate the immune response of host cells to virus infection. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the leading cause of liver disease and liver cancer globally. HBV infection depends on the host cell, and hepatocyte circadian rhythm genes are associated with HBV replication, survival, and spread. The core circadian rhythm proteins, REV-ERB and brain and muscle ARNTL-like protein 1, have a crucial role in HBV replication in hepatocytes. In addition to influencing the virus’s life cycle, the circadian rhythm also affects the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of antiviral vaccines. Therefore, it is vital to apply antiviral therapy at the appropriate time of day to reduce toxicity and improve the effectiveness of antiviral treatment. For these reasons, understanding the role of the circadian rhythm in the regulation of HBV infection and host responses to the virus provides us with a new perspective of the interplay of the circadian rhythm and anti-HBV therapy. Therefore, this review emphasizes the importance of the circadian rhythm in HBV infection and the optimization of antiviral treatment based on the circadian rhythm-dependent immune response.
Article
Full-text available
Despite many studies on host or viral gene expression, how the cellular proteome responds to internal or external cues during the infection process remains unclear. In this study, we used a Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) replication model and performed proteomic analyses to understand how HBV evades innate immunity as a function of cell cycle progression. Specifically, we performed proteomic analyses of HBV-replicating cells in G1/S and G2/M phases, as a function of IFN-α treatment. We identified that the conserved LSm (Like-Sm1-8) proteins were differentially regulated in HBV replicating cells treated with IFN-α. Specifically, in G2/M phase, IFN-α increased protein level of LSm1, the unique subunit of cytoplasmic LSm1-7 complex involved in mRNA decay. By contrast, IFN-α decreased LSm8, the unique subunit of nuclear LSm2-8 complex, a chaperone of U6 spliceosomal RNA, suggesting the cytoplasmic LSm1-7 complex is antiviral, whereas the nuclear LSm2-8 complex is pro-viral. In HBV replication and infection models, siRNA-mediated knockdown of LSm1 increased all viral RNAs. Conversely, LSm8 knockdown reduced viral RNA levels, dependent on N 6-adenosine methylation (m ⁶ A) of the epsilon stem-loop at the 5′ end of pre-Core/pregenomic (preC/pg) RNA. Methylated RNA immunoprecipitation (MeRIP) assays demonstrated reduced viral RNA methylation by LSm8 knockdown, dependent on the 5’ m6A modification, suggesting the LSm2-8 complex has a role in mediating this modification. Interestingly, splicing inhibitor Cp028 acting upstream of the LSm2-8 complex suppressed viral RNA levels without reducing the 5’ m6A modification. This observation suggests Cp028 has novel antiviral effects, likely potentiating IFN-α-mediated suppression of HBV biosynthesis.
Article
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus that causes the potentially lethal Covid-19 respiratory tract infection. It does so by binding to host cell angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors, leading to endocytosis with the receptor, and subsequently using the host cell’s machinery to replicate copies of itself and invade new cells. The extent of the spread of infection in the body is dependent on the pattern of ACE2 expression and overreaction of the immune system. Additionally, by inducing an imbalance in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and the loss of ACE2 would favour the progression of inflammatory and thrombotic processes in the lungs. No drug or vaccine has yet been approved to treat human coronaviruses. Hundreds of clinical trials on existing approved drugs from different classes acting on a multitude of targets in the virus life cycle are ongoing to examine potential effectiveness for the prevention and treatment of the infection. This review summarizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus life cycle in the host cell and provides a biological and pathological point of view for repurposed and experimental drugs for this novel coronavirus. The viral lifecycle provides potential targets for drug therapy.
Article
Full-text available
Nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) are the main drug category used in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) treatment. Despite the fact that NAs have a favourable safety profile, undesired adverse events (AEs) may occur during the treatment of CHB. Given the eminent number of patients currently receiving NAs, even a small risk of any of these toxicities can represent a major medical issue. The main objective of this review was to analyse information available on AEs associated with the use of NAs in published studies. We choose the following MesH terms for this systematic review: chronic hepatitis B, side effects and treatment. All articles published from 1 January 1990 up to 19 February 2018 in MEDLINE of PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and LILACS databases were searched. A total of 120 articles were selected for analysis, comprising 6419 patients treated with lamivudine (LAM), 5947 with entecavir (ETV), 3566 with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), 3096 with telbivudine (LdT), 1178 with adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) and 876 with tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). The most common AEs in all NAs assessed were abdominal pain/discomfort, nasopharyngitis/upper respiratory tract infections, fatigue, and headache. TAF displays the highest density of AEs per patient treated among NAs (1.14 AE/treated patient). In conclusion, treatment of CHB with NAs is safe, with a low incidence of AEs. Despite the general understanding TAF being safer than TDF, the number of patients treated with TAF still is too small in comparison to other NAs to consolidate an accurate safety profile. PROSPERO Registration No. CRD42018086471
Article
Full-text available
Background & aims: Besifovir dipivoxil maleate (BSV) has activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV). We performed a phase 3 study to compare the antiviral efficacy and safety of BSV vs tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) in patients with chronic HBV infection in Korea. Methods: We conducted a double-blind, non-inferiority trial of 197 patients with chronic HBV infection at 22 sites in South Korea, from November 2013 through February 2016. Patients were randomly assigned to groups given BSV (150 mg, n = 99) or TDF (300 mg, n = 98) for 48 weeks. We evaluated virologic responses to therapy (HBV DNA <69 IU/mL or 400 copies/ml), bone mineral density (BMD), and renal outcomes for safety analysis. The main efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients with a virologic response at week 48. After 48 weeks, TDF was switched to BSV (150 mg) for an additional 48 weeks. Results: After 48 weeks of treatment, 80.9% of patients given BSV and 84.9% of patients given TDF met the efficacy endpoint, indicating the non-inferiority of BSV to TDF. At week 96, 87.2% of patients in the BSV-BSV and 85.7% of patients in the TDF-BSV had a virologic response. At week 48, changes in hip and spine BMD differed significantly between the BSV and TDF groups, whereas the estimated glomerular filtration rate in the TDF group was significantly lower than that in the BSV group. However, at 96 weeks, there were no significant differences in BMD and estimated glomerular filtration rate between the BSV-BSV and TDF-BSV groups. Conclusions: BSV has antiviral efficacy comparable to that of TDF after 48 weeks of treatment, with durable effects for 96 weeks. BSV has a better safety profile than TDF, in terms of bone and renal outcomes. ClinicalTrials.gov no: NCT01937806.
Article
Full-text available
Novel antibiotics are urgently needed. The troponoids [tropones, tropolones, and α-hydroxytropolones (α-HT)] can have anti-bacterial activity. We synthesized or purchased 92 troponoids and evaluated their antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Preliminary hits were assessed for minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC80) and cytotoxicity (CC50) against human hepatoma cells. Sixteen troponoids inhibited S. aureus/E. coli/A. baumannii growth by ≥80% growth at <30 μM with CC50 values >50 μM. Two selected tropolones (63 and 285) inhibited 18 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains with similar MIC80 values as against a reference strain. Two selected thiotropolones (284 and 363) inhibited multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. coli with MIC80 ≤30 μM. One α-HT (261) inhibited MDR-A. baumannii with MIC80 ≤30 μM. This study opens new avenues for development of novel troponoid antibiotics to address the critical need to combat MDR bacterial infections.
Article
Full-text available
Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), a novel prodrug of tenofovir was developed to deliver enhanced antiviral potency and reduced systemic toxicities by more efficient intracellular delivery of the active metabolite tenofovir disphosphate than tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). In two randomized, double-blind, multinational phase III trials in patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive or -negative infection, TAF 25 mg was non-inferior to TDF 300 mg in achieving the primary efficacy outcome of a hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA level < 29 IU/ml at week 48 and was associated with higher rates of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization based on AASLD (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases) criteria. TAF was well tolerated with low rates of adverse events, comparable to TDF. A significantly lower decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was observed in patients receiving TAF compared with patients receiving TDF and loss of bone mineral density at the hip and spine was significantly lower in the TAF groups. These trends continued to week 96. The requirement for long-term therapy in chronic HBV highlights the importance of these efficacy and safety trends, however their true clinical relevance is yet to be established and further studies with long-term follow up and real-world clinical data are needed.
Article
Full-text available
Baloxavir acid (BXA), derived from the prodrug baloxavir marboxil (BXM), potently and selectively inhibits the cap-dependent endonuclease within the polymerase PA subunit of influenza A and B viruses. In clinical trials, single doses of BXM profoundly decrease viral titers as well as alleviating influenza symptoms. Here, we characterize the impact on BXA susceptibility and replicative capacity of variant viruses detected in the post-treatment monitoring of the clinical studies. We find that the PA I38T substitution is a major pathway for reduced susceptibility to BXA, with 30- to 50-fold and 7-fold EC50 changes in A and B viruses, respectively. The viruses harboring the I38T substitution show severely impaired replicative fitness in cells, and correspondingly reduced endonuclease activity in vitro. Co-crystal structures of wild-type and I38T influenza A and B endonucleases bound to BXA show that the mutation reduces van der Waals contacts with the inhibitor. A reduced affinity to the I38T mutant is supported by the lower stability of the BXA-bound endonuclease. These mechanistic insights provide markers for future surveillance of treated populations.
Article
Full-text available
Following the first report on the nucleoside phosphoramidate (ProTide) prodrug approach in 1990 by Chris McGuigan, the extensive investigation of ProTide technology has begun in many laboratories. Designed with aim to overcome limitations and the key resistance mechanisms associated with nucleoside analogues used in the clinic (poor cellular uptake, poor conversion to the 5′-monophosphate form), the ProTide approach has been successfully applied to a vast number of nucleoside analogues with antiviral and anticancer activity. ProTides consist of a 5′-nucleoside monophosphate in which the two hydroxyl groups are masked with an amino acid ester and an aryloxy component which once in the cell is enzymatically metabolized to deliver free 5′-monophosphate, which is further transformed to the active 5′-triphosphate form of the nucleoside analogue. In this review, the seminal contribution of Chris McGuigan’s research to this field is presented. His technology proved to be extremely successful in drug discovery and has led to two Food and Drug Administration-approved antiviral agents.
Article
Full-text available
Background Higher plasma tenofovir concentrations are associated with higher risks of renal and bone adverse events. The pharmacokinetic boosters ritonavir (RTV) and cobicistat (COBI) significantly increase plasma area under the curve (AUC) concentrations of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), by 25–37%. When combined with RTV or COBI, the dose of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is lowered from 25 mg to 10 mg daily, but the TDF dose is maintained at 300 mg daily. Objective To assess the differences in safety and efficacy between tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) in regimens with and without the pharmacokinetic boosters RTV and COBI. Methods A PubMed/Embase search inclusive of dates up to 17 July 2017 identified 11 randomised head-to-head trials (8111 patients) of TDF versus TAF. The Mantel–Haenszel method was used to calculate pooled risk differences and 95% confidence intervals using random-effects models. A pre-defined sub-group analysis compared TAF with TDF, either when boosted with RTV or COBI, or when unboosted. Results Nine clinical trials compared TAF and TDF for treatment of HIV-1 and two were for hepatitis B treatment. The eleven clinical trials documented 4574 patients with boosting RTV or COBI in both arms, covering 7198 patient-years of follow-up. Some 3537 patients received unboosted regimens, totalling 3595 patient-years of follow-up. Boosted TDF-treated patients showed borderline lower HIV RNA suppression <50 copies/mL (P=0.05), more bone fractures (P=0.04), larger decreases in bone mineral density (P<0.001), and more discontinuations for bone (P=0.03) or renal (P=0.002) adverse events. By contrast, there were no significant differences in HIV RNA suppression rates or clinical safety endpoints between unboosted TAF and unboosted TDF. Conclusions TDF boosted with RTV or COBI was associated with higher risks of bone and renal adverse events, and lower HIV RNA suppression rates, compared with TAF. By contrast, when ritonavir and cobicistat were not used, there were no efficacy differences between TAF and TDF, and marginal differences in safety. The health economic value of TAF versus low-cost generic TDF may be limited when these drugs are used without cobicistat or ritonavir.
Article
Full-text available
Clevudine was approved as an antiviral agent for hepatitis B virus, which showed marked, rapid inhibition of virus replication without significant toxicity. However, several studies have reported myopathy associated with clevudine therapy. Also, we experienced seven patients who suffered from myopathy during clevudine therapy. To characterize clevudineinduced myopathy, we collected previously reported cases of clevudine myopathy and analyzed all the cases including our cases. We searched electronic databases that were published in English or Korean using PubMed and KoreaMed. Ninety-five cases with clevudine myopathy, including our seven cases, were selected and analyzed for the demographic data, clinical features, and pathologic findings. The 95 patients with clevudine-induced myopathy comprised 52 women and 43 men aged 48.9 years (27-76 years). The patients received clevudine therapy for about 14.2 months (5-24 months) before the development of symptoms. Weakness mainly involved proximal extremities, especially in the lower extremities, and bulbar and neck weakness were observed in some cases (13.7%). Creatine kinase was elevated in the majority of patients (97.9%). Myopathic patterns on electromyography were observed in most patients examined (98.1%). Muscle biopsy presented patterns compatible with mitochondrial myopathy in the majority (90.2%). The weakness usually improved within about 3 months after the discontinuation of clevudine. Though clevudine has been known to be safe in a 6-month clinical trial, longer clevudine therapy for about 14 months may cause reversible mitochondrial myopathy. Careful clinical attention should be paid to patients with long-term clevudine therapy.
Article
Full-text available
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/142483/2/hep29509_am.pdf
Article
Full-text available
Covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA of hepatitis B virus (HBV) existed in the nuclei of HBV infected hepatocytes with a half-life time of 14.3 years in a mathematic model. Viral protein feedback regulation in HBV life cycle to maintain vital viral replication is an important mechanism. Interleukin-6, epithelial growth factor, heme oxygenase-1, histones, and hepatocyte nuclear factors are demonstrated as the key regulators for HBV life cycle. CpG island structure and methylation status are involved in the regulation of HBV DNA replication. Nucleos(t)ide analogues are widely used in the clinical practice for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B patients, although no evidence indicating a direct inhibiton of HBV cccDNA. In the future, along with the study of HBV life cycle, new drugs including RNA interference technique, will pave the way to eliminate the HBV cccDNA from infected hepatocytes resulting final cure of chronic hepatitis B.
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) ribonuclease H (RNH) is an appealing therapeutic target due to its essential role in viral replication. RNH inhibitors (RNHIs) could help more effectively control HBV infections. Here, we report 3-hydroxypyrimidine-2,4-diones as novel HBV RNHIs with antiviral activity. We synthesized and tested 52 analogs and found 4 that inhibit HBV RNH activity in infected cells. Importantly, 2 of these compounds inhibited HBV replication in the low micromolar range.
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer, but the current therapies that employ either nucelos(t)ide analogs or (pegylated)interferon alpha do not clear the infection in the large majority of patients. Inhibitors of the HBV ribonuclease H (RNaseH) that are being developed with the goal of producing anti-HBV drugs are promising candidates for use in combination with the nucleos(t)ide analogs to improve therapeutic efficacy. HBV is genetically very diverse, with at least 8 genotypes that differ by >= 8% at the sequence level. This diversity is reflected in the viral RNaseH enzyme, raising the possibility that divergent HBV genotypes or isolates may have varying sensitivity to RNaseH inhibitors. To evaluate this possibility, we expressed and purified 18 patient-derived RNaseHs from genotypes B, C, and D. Basal RNaseH activity and sensitivity to three novel RNaseH inhibitors from three different chemo-types were assessed. We also evaluated four consensus HBV RNaseHs to determine if such sequences would be suitable for use in antiviral drug screening. The patient-derived enzymes varied by over 10-fold in their basal RNaseH activities, but they were equivalently sensitive to each of the three inhibitors. Similarly, all four consensus HBV RNaseH enzymes were active and were equally sensitive to an RNaseH inhibitor. These data indicate that a wide range of RNaseH sequences would be suitable for use in antiviral drug screening, and that genotype- or isolate-specific genetic variations are unlikely to present a barrier during antiviral drug development against the HBV RNaseH.
Article
Background Hepatitis B is a serious global health problem. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major risk factor in the endemicity of HBV infection. Oral antiviral drugs are recommended to highly viremic mothers to decrease MTCT of HBV. The present network analysis compared the efficacy of available treatments to prevent the MTCT of HBV.Methods The electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, and Wanfang data were searched for eligible studies. Pair-wise meta-analysis and Bayesian network analysis were applied to compare the efficacy of antiviral drugs.ResultsSeventy-five studies involving 12,740 pregnant females were eligible for analysis. On pair-wise analysis, lamivudine (OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.09–0.25, I-squared = 0%), telbivudine (OR 0.07, 95% CI 0.05–0.10, I-squared = 0%) and tenofovir (OR 0.07, 95% CI 0.04–0.13, I-squared = 0%) significantly decreased the MTCT rate. Results of multiple comparisons with ranking probability based on Bayesian analysis showed that tenofovir (SUCRA = 96.83%) appeared more effective than the two other drugs.Conclusion In addition to active and passive immunoprophylaxis, lamivudine, telbivudine and tenofovir in highly viremic mothers can further decrease MTCT of HBV. Based on direct and indirect evidence, tenofovir appears to be more effective than the two other drugs in the prevention of HBV MTCT.
Article
Background & aims: Pradefovir is a liver targeted novel prodrug of adefovir (PMEA) developed to provide higher antiviral activity with reduced systemic toxicities. This study evaluated the tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and antiviral activity of pradefovir in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) virus infection. Methods: Non-cirrhotic, treatment-naïve subjects with CHB were divided into five groups (10 patients each) and randomized within each group in a ratio of 6:2:2 to receive an ascending dose of 30, 60, 75, 90, or 120 mg pradefovir, 10 mg adefovir dipivoxil (ADV), or 300 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) once a day for 28 days. Results: A total of 51 subjects were randomized and 49 subjects completed the study. The groups were well matched and included 39 males, of whom 71% were hepatitis B e-antigen-negative with a mean hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA level of 6.4-7.16 log10 IU/mL. No subject experienced a serious adverse event or nephrotoxicity. The most frequently reported adverse event was asymptomatic reduction in blood cholinesterase levels in the pradefovir group which recovered without any treatment about 13 ± 7 days after drug discontinuation. This adverse event was not observed in the ADV and TDF groups. The mean changes in serum HBV DNA were -2.78, -2.77, -3.08, -3.18, -3.44, -2.34, and -3.07 log10 IU/mL at 30, 60, 75, 90, and 120 mg pradefovir, 10 mg ADV and 300 mg TDF, respectively, with plateau levels reached with 60 mg pradefovir. Pradefovir and its metabolite PMEA showed linear pharmacokinetics proportional to the dose. The half-life of PMEA in the pradefovir group was 11.47-17.63 h. Conclusions: Short-term use of pradefovir was well tolerated. A decline in HBV DNA levels was superior to TDF at higher doses of pradefovir. 30-60 mg pradefovir is recommended for CHB treatment. Clinical trial number: CTR20150224.
Article
Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) polymerase is the only virus-encoded enzyme essential for producing the HBV genome and is regarded as an attractive drug target. However, the difficulty of synthesizing and purifying recombinant HBV polymerase protein has hampered the development of new drugs targeting this enzyme, especially compounds unrelated to the nucleoside structure. We recently have developed a technique for the synthesis and purification of recombinant HBV polymerase containing the reverse transcriptase (RT) domain that carried DNA elongation activity in vitro. Methods We used the overproduced protein to establish an in vitro high-throughput screening system to identify compounds that inhibit the elongation activity of HBV polymerase. Results We screened 1120 compounds and identified a stilbene derivative, piceatannol, as a potential anti-HBV agent. Derivative analysis identified another stilbene derivative, PDM2, that was able to inhibit HBV replication with an IC50 of 14.4 ± 7.7 μM. An infection experiment suggested that the compounds inhibit the replication of HBV rather than the entry process, as expected. Surface plasmon resonance analysis demonstrated a specific interaction between PDM2 and the RT domain. Importantly, PDM2 showed similar inhibitory activity against the replication of both wild-type HBV and a lamivudine/entecavir-resistant HBV variant. Furthermore, PDM2 showed an additive effect in combination with clinically used nucleos(t)ide analogs. Conclusions We report the development of a screening system that is useful for identifying non-nucleos(t)ide RT inhibitors.
Article
Potent nucleos(t)ide analogs (NUC), such as entecavir and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, are able to suppress HBV DNA to undetectable level. These agents have no direct action on cccDNA, which is a very stable template for HBV production, hence long-term or even life-long NUC therapy is required in HBeAg-negative patients to maintain HBV suppression and to achieve the ultimate goal of HBsAg loss. However, there are concerns of indefinite or life-long NUC therapy, including drug resistance, financial burden, adherence and willingness for indefinite long-term NUC therapy. Patients lost to follow-up and hence, not monitored may risk severe relapse that may deteriorate to hepatic decompensation or even hepatic failure. This Review integrated the cumulated evidence and assessed the strategy of finite NUC therapy in HBeAg-negative patients which was first tried in early 2000s. Earlier Asian findings that 2-year NUC therapy is feasible and safe have founded APASL stopping rule for patients on NUC therapy over 2–3 years since 2008. Subsequent studies have supported the strategy of finite NUC therapy, which has finally been accepted as an option by American and European liver associations since 2016. More recent studies have further shown greatly increased HBsAg loss rate (up to 5-year 39%) after stopping NUC therapy. The cumulated evidence has shown that the paradigm shift from indefinite long-term therapy to finite NUC therapy in HBeAg-negative patients is emerging. More studies are needed to fine-tuning the strategy including research for the optimal duration of consolidation therapy, timing to stop and to start re-treatment. Graphic abstract Open image in new window
Article
A series of bis(L-amino acid) ester prodrugs of tenofovir (TFV) were designed and synthesized as new anti-HBV agents in this work. Four compounds 11, 12a, 12d and 13b displayed better anti-HBV activity (IC50: 0.71–4.22 μM) than the parent drug TFV. The most active compound 11 (IC50: 0.71 μM), a bis(L-valine) ester prodrug of TFV, was found to have obviously greater AUC0-∞, Cmax and F% than tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), and potent in vivo efficacy which is not inferior to TDF in a duck HBV (DHBV) model and a HBV DNA hydrodynamic mouse model, and it may serve as a promising lead compound for further anti-HBV drug discovery.
Article
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global public health challenge on the same scale as tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria. The International Coalition to Eliminate HBV (ICE-HBV) is a coalition of experts dedicated to accelerating the discovery of a cure for chronic hepatitis B. Following extensive consultation with more than 50 scientists from across the globe, as well as key stakeholders including people affected by HBV, we have identified gaps in our current knowledge and new strategies and tools that are required to achieve HBV cure. We believe that research must focus on the discovery of interventional strategies that will permanently reduce the number of productively infected cells or permanently silence the covalently closed circular DNA in those cells, and that will stimulate HBV-specific host immune responses which mimic spontaneous resolution of HBV infection. There is also a pressing need for the establishment of repositories of standardised HBV reagents and protocols that can be accessed by all HBV researchers throughout the world. The HBV cure research agenda outlined in this position paper will contribute markedly to the goal of eliminating HBV infection worldwide.
Article
We recently developed a screening system capable of identifying and evaluating inhibitors of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) ribonuclease H (RNaseH), which is the only HBV enzyme not targeted by current anti-HBV therapies. Inhibiting the HBV RNaseH blocks synthesis of the positive-polarity DNA strand, causing early termination of negative-polarity DNA synthesis and accumulation of RNA:DNA heteroduplexes. We previously reported inhibition of HBV replication by N-hydroxyisoquinolinediones (HID) and N-hydroxypyridinediones (HPD) in human hepatoma cells. Here, we report results from our ongoing efforts to develop more potent anti-HBV RNaseH inhibitors in the HID/HPD compound classes. We synthesized and screened additional HIDs and HPDs for preferential suppression of positive-polarity DNA in cells replicating HBV. Three of seven new HIDs inhibited HBV replication, however, the therapeutic indexes (TI = CC 50 /EC 50 ) did not improve over what we previously reported. All nine of the HPDs inhibited HBV replication with EC 50 s ranging from 110 nM to 4 μM. Cellular cytotoxicity was evaluated by four assays and CC 50 s ranged from 15 to >100 μM. The best compounds have a calculated TI of >300, which is a 16-fold improvement over the primary HPD hit. These studies indicate that the HPD compound class holds potential for antiviral discovery.
Article
2′-Fluoro-6′-methylene-carbocyclic adenosine (FMCA, 12) and its phosphoramidate prodrug (FMCAP, 14) (Figure 1) has been proven as a potential anti-HBV agent against both adefovir-resistant as well as lamivudine-resistant double (rtL180M/rtM204V) mutants. Furthermore, in vitro, these agents have demonstrated significant activity against lamivudine/entecavir triple mutants (L180M+S202G+M204V). These preliminary results encourage us for further biological evaluation of FMCA and FMCAP to develop as a potential clinical candidate as an anti-HBV agent, which may overcome the problem of drug-resistance in HBV therapy. To support the preclinical exploration, a scalable synthesis of this molecule was needed. In this communication, a practical, and scalable synthesis of FMCA, and its prodrug are reported via ketone 1. The selective opening of isopropylidene group of 2 led to compound 3. Protection of the allylic hydroxyl group of 3 followed by fluorination, and deprotection afforded the key intermediate 10, which was condensed with a Boc-protected adenine followed by deprotection furnished the target nucleoside FMCA (12) in high yield. Further coupling of phosphorochloridate of L-alanine isopropyl ester (13) with FMCA gave its phosphoramidate prodrug FMCAP (14) in good yield.
Article
Background & aims: Several steps of the HBV life-cycle including particle entry, formation and maintenance of covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA, kinetics of gene expression and viral transmission routes remain obscure due to a lack of robust in vitro infection models. This study aimed to investigate infection kinetics and cccDNA dynamics during long-term culture. Methods: We selected a highly permissive HepG2-NTCP-K7 cell clone engineered to express sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP) that supports the full HBV life-cycle and characterized its replication kinetics and dynamics over 6 week-infection. Results: HBV infection kinetics showed a slow infection process. Nuclear cccDNA was only detected 24 hours post-infection and increased until 3 days post infection (dpi). Viral RNAs increased from 3 dpi reaching a plateau at 6 dpi. HBV protein levels followed this kinetics with HBx levels reaching a plateau first. cccDNA levels modestly increased throughout the 45-day study period with 5 - 12 copies per infected cell. Newly produced relaxed circular (rc) DNA within capsids was reimported into the nucleus and replenished the cccDNA pool. In addition to intracellular recycling of HBV genomes, secondary de novo infection events resulted in cccDNA formation. Inhibition of rcDNA formation by nucleoside analogue treatment of infected cells enabled us to measure cccDNA dynamics showing a slow decay with a half-life of about 40 days. Conclusions: After a slow infection process, HBV maintains a stable cccDNA pool by intracellular recycling of HBV genomes and via secondary infection. Our results provide important insights into the dynamics of HBV infection and support the future design and evaluation of new antiviral agents. Lay summary: Using a highly permissive hepatocellular model system, we demonstrate that HBV has a remarkably slow infection kinetics. Establishment of the episomal transcription template and persistence form, so called cccDNA, but also viral transcription and protein expression is protracted. Once established, HBV maintains a stable pool of cccDNA via intracellular recycling of HBV genomes and through infection of naive cells by newly formed virions.
Article
Background The 69th World Health Assembly approved the Global Health Sector Strategy to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. Although no virological cure exists for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, existing therapies to control viral replication and prophylaxis to minimise mother-to-child transmission make elimination of HBV feasible. We aimed to estimate the national, regional, and global prevalence of HBsAg in the general population and in the population aged 5 years in 2016, as well as coverage of prophylaxis, diagnosis, and treatment. Methods In this modelling study, we used a Delphi process that included a literature review in PubMed and Embase, followed by interviews with experts, to quantify the historical epidemiology of HBV infection. We then used a dynamic HBV transmission and progression model to estimate the country-level and regional-level prevalence of HBsAg in 2016 and the effect of prophylaxis and treatment on disease burden. Findings We developed models for 120 countries, 78 of which were populated with data approved by experts. Using these models, we estimated that the global prevalence of HBsAg in 2016 was 3·9% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 3·4–4·6), corresponding to 291 992 000 (251 513 000–341 114 000) infections. Of these infections, around 29 million (10%) were diagnosed, and only 4·8 million (5%) of 94 million individuals eligible for treatment actually received antiviral therapy. Around 1·8 (1·6–2·2) million infections were in children aged 5 years, with a prevalence of 1·4% (1·2–1·6). We estimated that 87% of infants had received the three-dose HBV vaccination in the first year of life, 46% had received timely birth-dose vaccination, and 13% had received hepatitis B immunoglobulin along with the full vaccination regimen. Less than 1% of mothers with a high viral load had received antiviral therapy to reduce mother-to-child transmission. Interpretation Our estimate of HBV prevalence in 2016 differs from previous studies, potentially because we took into account the effect of infant prophylaxis and early childhood vaccination, as well as changing prevalence over time. Although some regions are well on their way to meeting prophylaxis and prevalence targets, all regions must substantially scale-up access to diagnosis and treatment to meet the global targets.
Article
Chronic hepatitisB(CHB) is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Currently, clinically approved nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) are very efficient in reducing the load of hepatitis B virus (HBV) with minimum side effects. However, the long-term administration of antiviral drugs promotes HBV for potential drug resistance. To overcome this problem, combination therapies are administered, but HBV progressively altered mutations remain a threat. Therefore, optimally designed NAs are urgently needed to treat drug-resistant HBV. Herein, 2′-fluoro-6′-methylene carbocyclic adenosine (FMCA) and its phosphoramidate (FMCAP) have been discovered, which may be utilized in combination therapies for curing drug-resistant chronic hepatitis B. In preclinical studies, these carbocyclic NAs demonstrated potential anti-HBV activity against adefovir, as well as lamivudine (LMV/LAM) drug-resistant mutants. In vitro, these molecules have demonstrated significant activity against LMV/entecavir (ETV) triple mutants (L180M + S202G + M204V). Also, preliminary studies of FMCA/FMCAP in chimeric mice and female Non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID) mouse models having the LMV/ETV triple mutant have shown a high rate of reduction ofHBVDNAlevels compared to ETV. In this review, we have summarized preclinical studies of FMCA and its phosphoramidate prodrug (FMCAP).
Article
Chronic hepatitis B virus infection cannot be cured by current therapies, so new treatments are urgently needed. We recently identified novel inhibitors of the hepatitis B virus ribonuclease H that suppress viral replication in cell culture. Here, we employed immunodeficient FRG KO mice whose livers had been engrafted with primary human hepatocytes to ask whether ribonuclease H inhibitors can suppress hepatitis B virus replication in vivo. Humanized FRG KO mice infected with hepatitis B virus were treated for two weeks with the ribonuclease H inhibitors #110, an α-hydroxytropolone, and #208, an N-hydroxypyridinedione. Hepatitis B virus viral titers and S and e antigen plasma levels were measured. Treatment with #110 and #208 caused significant reductions in plasma viremia without affecting hepatitis B virus S or e antigen levels, and viral titers rebounded following treatment cessation. This is the expected pattern for inhibitors of viral DNA synthesis. Compound #208 suppressed viral titers of both hepatitis B virus genotype A and C isolates. These data indicate that Hepatitis B virus replication can be suppressed during infection in an animal by inhibiting the viral ribonuclease H, validating the ribonuclease H as a novel target for antiviral drug development.
Article
The majority of persons currently treated for chronic hepatitis B require long-term or lifelong therapy. New inhibitors of hepatitis B virus entry, replication, assembly, or secretion and immune modulatory therapies are in development. The introduction of these novel compounds for chronic hepatitis B necessitates a standardized appraisal of the efficacy and safety of these treatments and definitions of new or additional endpoints to inform clinical trials. To move the field forward and to expedite the pathway from discovery to regulatory approval, a workshop with key stakeholders was held in September 2016 to develop a consensus on treatment endpoints to guide the design of clinical trials aimed at hepatitis B cure. The consensus reached was that a complete sterilizing cure, i.e., viral eradication from the host, is unlikely to be feasible. Instead, a functional cure characterized by sustained loss of hepatitis B surface antigen with or without hepatitis B surface antibody seroconversion, which is associated with improved clinical outcomes, in a higher proportion of patients than is currently achieved with existing treatments is a feasible goal. Development of standardized assays for novel biomarkers toward better defining hepatitis B virus cure should occur in parallel with development of novel antiviral and immune modulatory therapies such that approval of new treatments can be linked to the approval of new diagnostic assays used to measure efficacy or to predict response. Combination of antiviral and immune modulatory therapies will likely be needed to achieve functional hepatitis B virus cure. Limited proof-of-concept monotherapy studies to evaluate safety and antiviral activity should be conducted prior to proceeding to combination therapies. The safety of any new curative therapies will be paramount given the excellent safety of currently approved nucleos(t)ide analogues. (Hepatology 2017).
Article
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) affects over 350 million individuals worldwide and is the most common cause of liver cancer. In the United States, CHB affects at least 2 to 3 million individuals, and current therapies can control the disease but not cure it. There are over 30 new molecules being studied in CHB in preclinical to phase 2 studies, targeting specific parts of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) life cycle and the host immune response. When discussing new therapies for CHB, it is critical to understand both the various phases of CHB and the life cycle of HBV. This article will discuss both of these issues, as well as mechanisms of action of potential therapies and possible ways to combine such therapies in the various phases of CHB.
Article
Background: Pradefovir is efficiently converted to adefovir [9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl) adenine (PMEA)], producing high hepatic PMEA concentration but low levels in the systemic circulation and kidney. The aim of this study is to evaluate the tolerability, adverse effect (AEs), pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics of a single ascending dose of pradefovir. Methods: Fifty healthy subjects were divided into five groups and randomized within each group at a ratio of 3:1:1 to receive a single ascending dose of pradefovir (10, 30, 60, 90, or 120 mg), and 10 mg adefovir dipivoxil (ADP) or placebo. Blood and urine samples were collected and analyzed. A total of 1930 polymorphic loci were analyzed in 6 blood samples collected from the 90 mg pradefovir group. Results: The single oral dose of pradefovir up to 120 mg was well tolerated. A total of 29 dose-limited mild AEs were reported in 17 subjects. The peak plasma concentration (C max) and area under the curve (AUC)0-48 of serum pradefovir ranged from (21.41 ± 12.98) to (447.33 ± 79.34) ng/mL and (46.10 ± 29.45) to (748.18 ± 134.15) ng h/mL across the dose range, respectively. The C max and AUC0-48 of serum PMEA ranged from 18.10 ± 4.96 to 312.33 ± 114.19 ng/mL and 72.65 ± 28.25 to 1095.48 ± 248.47 ng h/mL. Generally, no kidney impairment was observed. Pharmacogenetic analysis identified three metabolism-related single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) locis, P450 (cytochrome) oxidoreductase [POR (rs6965343)], arylamine N-acetyltransferases [NAT1 (rs4986993)] and CYP2F1 (rs305968)], and one distribution-related loci, orosomucoid 2 [ORM2 (rs12685968)]. Conclusions: The single oral dose of pradefovir 10-120 mg was well tolerated. SNPs may be associated with variable rates of adverse events. Trial registration number: CTR20140341.
Article
9-R-[2-(Phosphonomethoxy)propyl]-adenine (tenofovir) is an acyclic nucleoside phosphonate with antiviral activity against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Tenofovir is not orally bioavailable but becomes orally active against HIV-1 infection as the disoproxil ester (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate [Viread]). We have developed an alternative strategy for promoting the oral availability of nucleoside phosphonate analogs which involves esterification with a lipid to form a lysolecithin mimic. This mimic can utilize natural lysolecithin uptake pathways in the gut, resulting in high oral availability. Since the mimic is not subject to cleavage in the plasma by nonspecific esterases, it remains intact in the circulation and facilitates uptake by target cells. Significant drops in apparent antiviral 50% effective concentrations (EC50s) of up to 3 logs have been observed in comparison with non-lipid-conjugated parent compounds in target cells. We have applied this technology to tenofovir with the goal of increasing oral availability, decreasing the apparent EC50, and decreasing the potential for nephrotoxicity by reducing the exposure of the kidney to the free dianionic tenofovir. Here we report that, in vitro, the hexadecyloxypropyl ester of tenofovir, CMX157, is 267-fold more active than tenofovir against HIV-1 and 4.5-fold more active against HBV. CMX157 is orally available and has no apparent toxicity when given orally to rats for 7 days at doses of 10, 30, or 100 mg/kg/day. Consequently, CMX157 represents a second-generation tenofovir analog which may have an improved clinical profile.
Article
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a global public health problem with changing epidemiology due to several factors including vaccination policies and migration. This CPG presents updated recommendations for the optimal management of HBV infection. Chronic HBV infection can be classified into five phases: (I) HBeAg-positive chronic infection, (II) HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis, (III) HBeAg-negative chronic infection, (IV) HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis and (V) HBsAg-negative phase. All patients with chronic HBV infection are at increased risk of progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), depending on host and viral factors. The main goal of therapy is to improve survival and quality of life by preventing disease progression, and consequently HCC development. The induction of long-term suppression of HBV replication represents the main endpoint of current treatment strategies, while HBsAg loss is an optimal endpoint. The typical indication for treatment requires HBV DNA >2000 IU/ml, elevated ALT and/or at least moderate histological lesions, while all cirrhotic patients with detectable HBV DNA should be treated. Additional indications include the prevention of mother-to-child transmission in pregnant women with high viremia and prevention of HBV reactivation in patients requiring immunosuppression or chemotherapy. The long-term administration of a potent nucleos(t)ide analogue with high barrier to resistance, i.e. entecavir, tenofovir disoproxil or tenofovir alafenamide, represents the treatment of choice. Pegylated interferon-alfa can be also considered in mild to moderate chronic hepatitis B. Combination therapies are not generally recommended. All treated and untreated patients should be monitored for treatment response and adherence, and the risk of progression and development of complications. HCC remains the major concern for treated chronic hepatitis B patients. Several subgroups of patients with HBV infection require specific focus. Future treatment strategies to achieve “cure” of disease and new biomarkers are discussed.
Article
Cryptococcus neoformans is a common pathogen of the immunosuppressed. It can be treated with amphotericin B and fluconazole, but the mortality rate remains 15-30%, thus novel and more effective anti-cryptococcal therapies are needed. The troponoids are based on natural products isolated from Western redcedar and have broad antimicrobial activity. Extracts of Western redcedar inhibit growth of several fungal species, but neither Western redcedar extracts nor troponoid derivatives have been tested against C. neoformans. We screened 56 troponoids for their ability to inhibit C. neoformans growth and to assess whether they may be attractive candidates for development into anti-cryptococcal drugs. We determined minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) at which the compounds could inhibit 80% of cryptococcal growth relative to vehicle-treated controls and identified 12 compounds with MICs ranging from 0.2 to 15 μM. We screened compounds with a MIC ≤ 20 μM for cytotoxicity in liver hepatoma cells. Fifty percent cytotoxicity values (CC 50 s) ranged from 4 to >100 μM. The therapeutic indexes (TI, CC 50 /MIC) for most of the troponoids were fairly low, with most being <8. However, two compounds had TI values that were >8, including a tropone with a TI of >300. These tropones are fungicidal and are not antagonistic when used in combination with fluconazole or amphotericin B. Inhibition by these two tropone remains unchanged under conditions that favor cryptococcal capsule formation. These data support the hypothesis that troponoids may be a productive scaffold for development into novel anti-cryptococcal therapies.
Article
Combination therapies are standard for management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, however no such therapies are established for human hepatitis B virus (HBV). Recently we identified several promising inhibitors of HBV ribonuclease H (RNaseH) activity that have significant activity against viral replication in vitro Here, we investigated in vitro antiviral efficacy of combinations of two RNaseH inhibitors with the current anti-HBV drug nucleoside analog lamivudine, with HAP12, an experimental core protein allosteric modulator, and with each other. Anti-HBV activities of the compounds were tested in a HepG2-derived cell line by monitoring intracellular core particle DNA levels, and cytotoxicity was assessed by MTS assay. The antiviral efficiencies of the drug combinations were evaluated using the median-effect equation derived from the mass-action law principle and combination index theorem of Chou and Talalay. We found that combinations of two RNaseH inhibitors from different chemical classes were synergistic with lamivudine against HBV DNA synthesis. Significant synergism was also observed for combination of the two RNaseH inhibitors. Combinations of RNaseH inhibitors with HAP12 had additive antiviral effects. Enhanced cytotoxicity was not observed in the combination experiments. Because of these synergistic and additive effects, the antiviral activity of combination of RNaseH inhibitors with drugs that act by two different mechanisms and with each other can be achieved by administering the compounds in combination at doses below the respective single drug doses.
Article
A major hurdle in the long-term treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients is to maintain viral suppression in the absence of drug resistance. To date, no evidence of resistance to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) has been observed. A cumulative evaluation of CHB patients who qualified for resistance surveillance over 8 years of TDF treatment was conducted. Patients in studies GS-US-174-0102 (HBeAg-) and GS-US-174-0103 (HBeAg+) were randomized 2:1 to receive TDF or adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) for 48 weeks followed by open-label TDF through year 8. Population sequencing of HBV pol/RT was attempted for all TDF-treated patients at baseline and, annually if viremic, at discontinuation, or with addition of emtricitabine. Overall, 88/641 (13.7%) patients qualified for sequence analysis at one or more time points. The percentage of patients qualifying for sequence analysis declined over time, from 9 to 11% in years 1-2 to <4% over years 3-8. Forty-one episodes of virologic breakthrough (VB) occurred throughout the study, with most (n=29, 70%) associated with nonadherence to study medication. Fifty-nine per cent of VB patients with an opportunity to resuppress HBV achieved HBV DNA resuppression. A minority of patients who qualified for sequencing had polymorphic (41/165, 24.8%) or conserved (17/165, 10.3%) site changes in pol/RT, with six patients developing lamivudine and/or ADV resistance-associated mutations. No accumulation of conserved site changes was detected. The long-term treatment of CHB with TDF monotherapy maintains effective suppression of HBV DNA through 8 years, with no evidence of TDF resistance or accumulation of conserved site changes.
Article
Background The novel prodrug tenofovir alafenamide delivers the nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor tenofovir to target cells more efficiently at a lower dose than tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, thereby reducing systemic exposure. We compared the efficacy and safety of the two drugs in patients with HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in a non-inferiority study. Methods In this ongoing randomised, double-blind, phase 3, non-inferiority study in 105 centres in 17 countries, patients with HBeAg-negative chronic HBV were randomly assigned (2:1) by a computer-generated allocation sequence (block size six), stratified by plasma HBV DNA concentration and previous treatment status, to receive once-daily oral doses of tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg, each with matching placebo. Participants, investigators, and those assessing outcomes were masked to group assignment. Eligible patients were aged at least 18 years with HBeAg-negative chronic HBV infection (with plasma HBV DNA concentrations of >20 000 IU/mL), serum alanine aminotransferase concentrations of greater than 60 U/L in men or greater than 38 U/L in women and at no more than ten times the upper limit of normal, and estimated creatinine clearance of at least 50 mL/min (by the Cockcroft-Gault method). The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients who had HBV DNA less than 29 IU/mL at week 48 in those who received at least one dose of study drug; the study was powered to show non-inferiority with a 10% efficacy margin of tenofovir alafenamide compared with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Bone and renal safety, and key secondary safety endpoints were assessed sequentially. The study will be conducted for a total of 3 years as a double-blind comparison to assess the longer term response to treatment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01940341. Findings Between Sept 12, 2013, and Oct 31, 2014, 426 patients were randomly assigned (285 assigned to tenofovir alafenamide and 141 assigned to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate; one patient assigned to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate did not receive the treatment. 268 (94%) of 285 patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide had HBV DNA less than 29 IU/mL at week 48 versus 130 (93%) of 140 patients receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (difference 1·8% [95% CI −3·6 to 7·2]; p=0·47), which demonstrates non-inferiority. Patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide had significantly smaller mean percentage declines in bone mineral density than those receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (hip −0·29% [95% CI −0·55 to −0·03] vs −2·16% [–2·53 to −1·79], adjusted percentage difference 1·87% [95% CI 1·42 to 2·32; p<0·0001]; spine −0·88% [–1·22 to −0·54] vs −2·51% [–3·09 to −1·94], adjusted percentage difference 1·64% [95% CI 1·01 to 2·27]; p<0·0001). At week 48, mean change in serum creatinine was small in both groups (tenofovir alafenamide 0·01 mg/dL [95% CI 0·00 to 0·02] vs tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 0·02 mg/dL [0·00 to 0·04], adjusted percentage difference −0·01 mg/dL [95% CI −0·03 to 0·01]; p=0·32), but patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide had a smaller reduction in creatinine clearance (median change in estimated glomerular filtration rate −1·8 mL/min [IQR −7·8 to 6·0] vs −4·8 mL/min [–12·0 to 3·0]; p=0·004). Most adverse events were mild to moderate in severity in the two treatment groups. The most common adverse events overall were headache (tenofovir alafenamide 40 [14%] patients vs tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 14 [10%] patients), nasopharyngitis (30 [11%] vs 15 [11%]), and upper respiratory tract infection (35 [12%] vs ten [7%]). 14 (5%) patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide and nine (6%) patients receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate had serious adverse events, none of which was deemed by investigators to be related to study treatment; one patient in the tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group died, but this was not deemed to be related to study treatment. Interpretation In patients with HBeAg-negative chronic HBV, the efficacy of tenofovir alafenamide was non-inferior to that of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, and had improved bone and renal effects. Longer term follow-up is needed to better understand the clinical impact of these changes. Funding Gilead Sciences.
Article
Background Tenofovir alafenamide is a novel prodrug formulated to deliver the active metabolite to target cells more efficiently than tenofovir disoproxil fumarate at a lower dose, thereby reducing systemic exposure. In patients with HIV, tenofovir alafenamide was as efficacious as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, with reduced bone and renal toxic effects. We compared the efficacy and safety of the two drugs in patients with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in a non-inferiority study. Methods We did this ongoing double-blind, non-inferiority study in 161 outpatient centres in 19 countries. Patients with chronic HBV infection who were positive for the hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive either 25 mg tenofovir alafenamide or 300 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate with matching placebo. Randomisation was done by a computer-generated allocation sequence (block size six) stratified by plasma HBV DNA concentration and previous treatment experience. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients with HBV DNA less than 29 IU/mL at week 48 in all patients who were randomly assigned and received at least one dose of study drug using a missing-equals-failed approach. The pre-specified non-inferiority margin was 10%. Key prespecified safety endpoints were bone and renal parameters at week 48. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01940471. Findings Of the 1473 patients screened from Sept 11, 2013, to Dec 20, 2014, 875 eligible patients were randomly assigned and 873 received treatment (581 with tenofovir alafenamide and 292 with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). 371 (64%) patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide had HBV DNA less than 29 IU/mL at week 48, which was non-inferior to the 195 (67%) of patients receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate who had HBV DNA less than 29 IU/mL (adjusted difference −3·6% [95% CI −9·8 to 2·6]; p=0·25). Patients given tenofovir alafenamide had a significantly smaller decrease in bone mineral density at hip (mean change −0·10% [95% CI −0·29 to 0·09] vs −1·72% [–2·02 to −1·41]; adjusted difference 1·62 [1·27 to 1·96]; p<0·0001) and at spine (mean change −0·42% [–0·66 to −0·17] vs −2·29% [–2·67 to −1·92]; adjusted difference 1·88 [1·44 to 2·31]; p<0·0001) as well as smaller mean increases in serum creatinine at week 48 (0·01 mg/dL [0·00–0·02] vs 0·03 mg/dL [0·02–0·04]; p=0·02). The most common adverse events overall were upper respiratory tract infection (51 [9%] of 581 patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide vs 22 [8%] of 292 patients receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), nasopharyngitis (56 [10%] vs 16 [5%]), and headache (42 [7%] vs 22 [8%]). 22 (4%) patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide and 12 (4%) patients receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate experienced serious adverse events, none of which was deemed by the investigator to be related to study treatment. 187 (32%) of 581 patients in the tenofovir alafenamide group and 96 (33%) of 292 patients in the tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group had grade 3 or 4 laboratory abnormalities, the most common of which were elevations in ALT (62 [11%] of 577 patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide and 36 [13%] of 288 patients receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) and AST (20 [3%] of 577 patients receiving tenofovir alafenamide and 19 [7%] of 288 patients receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). Interpretation In patients with HBeAg-positive HBV infection, tenofovir alafenamide was non-inferior to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, and had improved bone and renal effects. Longer term follow-up is needed to better understand the clinical impact of these changes. Funding Gilead Sciences.
Article
Background and Aims Hepatitis B virus (HBV) covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), a mini-chromosome essential for HBV replication, is supposed to be resistant to nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment. We investigated the effect of long-term nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment on cccDNA. Methods Among 129 patients who had been enrolled in previous international nucleos(t)ide analogue clinical trials and had liver biopsies at baseline and one year after treatment, we recruited 43 patients on long-term continuous treatment for 72 to 145 months for a third liver biopsy. Serum HBV DNA, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels, total intrahepatic HBV DNA (ihHBV DNA), cccDNA, HBV pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) as well as histologic changes were examined. Results At the time of the third biopsy, serum HBV DNA levels were undetectable in all but one patient. The median levels of HBsAg, ihHBV DNA, and cccDNA were 2.88 log IU/ml, 0.03 copies/cell, and 0.01 copies/cell, respectively. Compared to baseline levels, there was reduction of HBsAg levels by 0.54 log (71.46%), ihHBV DNA levels by 2.81 log (99.84%), and cccDNA levels by 2.94 log (99.89%), with 49% having cccDNA levels below the detection limit. One patient had undetectable HBsAg. The median pgRNA level, measured only in the third biopsy, was 0.021 copies/cell, with 40% of patients having undetectable pgRNA. Conclusions Long-term nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment induced marked depletion of cccDNA in the majority of patients while serum HBsAg levels, though reduced, were detectable in all but one patient. Whether cccDNA depletion is sustained and associated with better patient outcome requires further study. Lay summary It is generally presumed that a form of hepatitis B virus DNA, called covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), which hides inside the nuclei of liver cells of patients with chronic hepatitis B, cannot be reduced by antiviral treatment. The present study showed that with prolonged treatment (median period 126 months), cccDNA can be markedly reduced, with 49% of liver biopsies having undetectable cccDNA. This suggests that viral replication capacity would be very low after prolonged antiviral treatment.
Article
Objective Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss are important clinical outcomes for patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) treated with antiviral therapy. To date, there have been few studies that have evaluated viral sequence markers predicting serological response to nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) treatment. Design We used next-generation sequencing (NGS) and quantitative HBV serology (HBeAg and HBsAg) to identify viral sequence markers associated with serological response to long-term tenofovir disoproxil fumarate therapy among HBeAg-positive patients. In the GS-US-174-0103 study, approximately half the patients seroconverted to anti-HBe by week 192 and 11% of patients exhibited HBsAg loss, the closest outcome to functional cure. The frequency of HBV variants that have previously been associated with HBV clinical outcomes was evaluated. HBV viral diversity in baseline sequences generated by NGS was calculated using Shannon entropy. Results NGS analysis of HBV sequences from 157 patients infected with genotypes A to D showed the frequency of variants in the basal core promoter (BCP) and precore (PC) regions varied by genotype and that these mutations were associated with the absence of HBsAg loss. This was the case even when mutations were present at frequencies below the threshold of detection by population sequencing. Increased viral diversity across the HBV genome as determined by NGS was also associated with reduced likelihood of HBsAg loss. Conclusion Patients with detectable BCP and/or PC variants and higher viral diversity have a lower probability of HBsAg loss during long-term NA therapy. Strategies to achieve functional cure of HBV infection through combination therapy should consider using NGS to stratify patients according to BCP/PC sequence. Consideration should also be given to earlier initiation of therapy prior to the emergence of BCP/PC variants. Trial registration number NCT00116805; Post result.
Article
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is characterized by a high genetic heterogeneity since it replicates via a reverse transcriptase that lacks proofreading ability. Up to now, ten genotypes (A–J) have been described, with genotype A and D being ubiquitous but most prevalent in Europe and Africa, genotype B and C being confined to Asia and Oceania. Infections with other genotypes such as E, F, G and H are also occasionally observed in Asia. Genotype I is rare and can be found in Laos, Vietnam, India and China, whereas genotype J has been described in Japan and Ryukyu. Novel variants generated by recombination and co-infection with other genotypes have gradually gotten worldwide attention and may be correlated with certain clinical features. There are substantial differences in HBV infection regarding prevalence, clinical manifestation, disease progression and response to antiviral therapy. Due to the complex interplay among viral, host and environmental factors, the relationship between HBV genotypes and clinical profiles remains incompletely revealed. In general, genotype A is associated with better response to interferon therapy; genotype C, and to lesser extent B, usually represent a risk factor for perinatal infection and are associated with advanced liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma; genotype D may be linked with poor response to interferon therapy. Future studies with better design and larger sample size are warranted to further clarify the controversial issues and guide the day-to-day clinical practice.
Article
Background and aims In patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) who have failed on other nucleos(t)ide analogs (NUCs), the combination of entecavir (ETV) plus tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), two potent agents with non-overlapping resistance profiles, may provide a single rescue regimen. Methods In this single-arm, open-label study, 92 CHB patients with a primary non-response, partial response, or virologic breakthrough on their current NUC were switched to ETV (1 mg) plus TDF (300 mg) and treated for 96 weeks. Results At baseline, 62 % of patients were HBeAg(+) and mean HBV DNA was 4.4 log10IU/mL. Patients had received ≥1 line of prior NUC therapy, with the latest regimen consisting of monotherapy with ETV (53 %), lamivudine (LVD 22 %), TDF (12 %), adefovir (ADV 4 %), or telbivudine (2 %), or combinations of these agents (7 %); 58 % had evidence of single- or multidrug resistance mutations (LVD 52 %, ETV 26 %; ADV 7 %). Response rates for HBV DNA <50 IU/mL were 76 % (70/92) at week 48 (primary endpoint), and 85 % (78/92) at week 96, including 80 % (16/20) in prior LVD failures, 100 % (4/4) in ADV failures, 82 % (9/11) in TDF failures, and 88 % (42/48) in ETV failures. No treatment-emergent resistance to ETV or ADV was observed. ETV/TDF was well tolerated, with no significant renal or additive toxicities observed. Conclusions In NUC-experienced patients who have failed prior NUC therapy, ETV/TDF was well tolerated and effective, achieving virologic suppression through 96 weeks in the majority (85 %), irrespective of prior NUC exposure, without occurrence of treatment-emergent resistance to either agent.
Article
Background & Aims Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a major cause of acute hepatitis as well as chronic infection in immunocompromised individuals; however, in vivo infection models are limited. The aim of this study was to establish a small animal model to improve our understanding of HEV replication mechanisms and permit the development of effective therapeutics. Methods UPA/SCID/beige mice repopulated with primary human hepatocytes were used for infection experiments with HEV genotype (GT) 1 and 3. Virological parameters were determined at the serological and intrahepatic level by real time PCR, immunohistochemistry and RNA in situ hybridization. Results Establishment of HEV infection was achieved after intravenous injection of stool-derived virions and following co-housing with HEV-infected animals but not via inoculation of serum-derived HEV. GT 1 infection resulted in a rapid rise of viremia and high stable titres in serum, liver, bile and faeces of infected mice for more than 25 weeks. In contrast, viremia in GT 3 infected mice developed more slowly and displayed lower titres in all analysed tissues as compared to GT 1. HEV-infected human hepatocytes could be visualized using HEV ORF2 and ORF3 specific antibodies and HEV RNA in situ hybridization probes. Finally, six-week administration of ribavirin led to a strong reduction of viral replication in the serum and liver of GT 1 infected mice. Conclusion We established an efficient model of HEV infection to test the efficacy of antiviral agents and to exploit mechanisms of HEV replication and interaction with human hepatocytes in vivo.
Article
Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) affects an estimate of 240million people worldwide despite the availability of a preventive vaccine. Medication to repress viral replication is available but a cure is rarely achieved. The narrow species and tissue tropism of the virus and the lack of reliable in vitro models and laboratory animals susceptible to HBV infection, have limited research progress in the past. As a result, several aspects of the HBV life cycle as well as the network of virus host interactions occurring during the infection are not yet understood. Only recently, the identification of the functional cellular receptor enabling HBV entry has opened new possibilities to establish innovative infection systems. Regarding the in vivo models of HBV infection, the classical reference was the chimpanzee. However, because of the strongly restricted use of great apes for HBV research, major efforts have focused on the development of mouse models of HBV replication and infection such as the generation of humanized mice. This review summarizes the animal and cell culture based models currently available for the study of HBV biology. We will discuss the benefits and caveats of each model and present a selection of the most important findings that have been retrieved from the respective systems.
Article
HIV infection has become a chronic condition rather than an acute life-threatening disease in developed countries, thanks to consistent innovation and evolution of effective interventions. This has altered HIV management and created new challenges. People living with HIV (PLWHIV) are living longer and so encounter comorbidities linked not only with their disease, but also with ageing, lifestyle and chronic exposure to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Although longevity, viral suppression and the prevention of viral transmission remain key goals, more needs to be achieved to encompass the vision of attaining an optimum level of overall health. Treatment choices and management practices should ensure patients' long-term health with minimal co-morbidity. Treatments that balance optimal efficacy with the potential for improved long-term safety are needed for all patients. In this review, we consider the evolution and development of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) - a novel pro-drug of tenofovir which offers high antiviral efficacy at doses over ten times lower than tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). Emerging clinical data suggest that elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and TAF (E/C/F/TAF) as a single tablet regimen offers highly effective viral suppression in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients with an improved renal and bone safety profile compared to TDF, demonstrated in diverse groups including patients with existing renal impairment and in adolescents. The profile of TAF identifies it as an agent with a promising role within future ART regimens that aim to deliver the vision of undetectable viral load, while requiring less monitoring and a safety profile designed to minimise comorbid risks whilst supporting good long-term health. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Chronic HBV infection results in >1 million deaths per year from cirrhosis and liver cancer. No known cure for chronic HBV exists, due in part to the continued presence of transcriptionally active DNA in the nucleus that is not directly targeted by current antiviral therapies. A coordinated approach is urgently needed to advance an HBV cure worldwide, such as those established in the HIV field. We propose the establishment of an International Coalition to Eliminate Hepatitis B Virus (ICE-HBV) to facilitate the formation of international working groups on HBV virology, immunology, innovative tools and clinical trials: to promote awareness and education as well as to drive changes in government policy and ensure funds are channelled to HBV cure research and drug development. With the ICE-HBV in place, it should be possible to enable a HBV cure within the next decade.
Article
Background & aim: Sequential therapy posed a high risk of emergence of multi-drug resistance and presented a management issue in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) treatment. We evaluated the antiviral efficacy and safety of entecavir (ETV) plus tenofovir (TDF) combination therapy in multi-drug resistant (MDR) CHB patients. Methods: In this prospective, multicenter study, MDR CHB patients, defined as measurable serum HBV DNA (≥60 IU/mL) while on any rescue treatment regimen for at least 24 weeks and the presence of documented prior genotypic resistance to both nucleoside analogue(s) and nucleotide analogue, were treated with ETV 1.0mg and TDF 300mg combination therapy for 48 weeks. Results: A total of 64 eligible patients who had previously failed to a median three lines of antiviral therapy (range 2-6) were included. At baseline, median age was 47.0 years, 89.1% were HBeAg(+), median HBV DNA was 4.24 (range 2.11-6.73) log10 IU/ml. By week 4, 12, 24 and 48, 15/64 (23.4%), 36/64 (56.3%), 43/64 (67.2%) and 55/64 (85.9%) patients achieved a HBV DNA <60 IU/ml, respectively. The mean reduction of HBV DNA from baseline to 4 weeks and 48 weeks was 1.23 log10 IU/ml and 2.38 log10 IU/ml, respectively. Although 5 patients experienced virologic breakthrough, all were transient and no resistant mutation to TDF or novel mutation was detected in any patients. Conclusions: In difficult-to-treat MDR CHB patients with a high exposure to multiple antiviral drugs, ETV plus TDF combination therapy can provide a very high rate of viral suppression through 48 weeks of treatment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.