2,000,000,000individuals past and present infection
30,000,000individuals newly infected each year
250,000,000individuals chronically infected
900,000individuals annual mortality from hepatitis B and related complications
Prevalence Estimates By Region
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is passed from person to person through blood or other body fluids. Symptoms of HBV infection can include fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice. While HBV can be an acute infection, it can also become a long-term, chronic infection that can lead to potentially life-threatening health conditions such as cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Risk for chronic infection is related to age at infection: approximately 90% of infants with hepatitis B go on to develop chronic infection, whereas only 2%-6% of people who get hepatitis B as adults become chronically infected.
Despite a preventive vaccine and available therapies, there is currently no cure for chronic HBV infection. Current therapies (NAs, including tenofovir and entecavir) can control HBV replication, but viral load quickly rebounds if a patient stops treatment. Even after 5 years of treatment with existing therapies, only 5-7% of patients achieve a functional cure if treatment is stopped.
Resistance to a cure is driven by production of cccDNA, which has long T1/2 and remains in cells despite current NA therapy. It is expected that a cure for HBV will require a combination approach, targeting different replication points specific to the HBV virus, and particularly potent suppression of the viral polymerase that replenishes cccDNA.
A combination therapy comprising an NA with ATI-2173 has the potential to completely suppress the HBV polymerase, shutting down all viral replication.