Hepatitis B Foundation Launches Nationwide Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) Campaign to Expand Awareness and Testing for HDV Infection
Collaboration with Eiger Biopharma and ARUP Laboratories Focuses on Deadly Form of Viral Hepatitis
DOYLESTOWN, PA October 2016, The Hepatitis B Foundation today announced the launch of a nationwide hepatitis delta virus (HDV) campaign to expand patient access to testing and raise awareness of HDV, an infection that occurs only in patients with hepatitis B.
The goal of the campaign is to educate healthcare professionals and people with hepatitis B about the risk of hepatitis delta while reducing barriers to testing. Achieving this goal will result in patients knowing their HDV status. This week, the Foundation launched a comprehensive HDV educational website (www.hepdconnect.org). The Foundation is collaborating with Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on targeted therapies for rare diseases, and ARUP Laboratories, Inc., a national clinical and anatomic pathology reference laboratory, on this initiative.
“There is a tremendous lack of awareness among patients and providers about the serious problem of HDV co-infection, due in-part to limited access to tests and the lack of therapies approved to treat HDV,” said Timothy Block, PhD, President and co-founder of the Hepatitis B Foundation.“Given recent advances in the availability of HDV viral load testing and an expanding pipeline of anti-HDV drug candidates, now is the time to launch an outreach campaign such as this. By increasing provider and patient awareness about HDV and the importance of testing for HDV to reduce the burden of disease, we will be able to make significant advances in eliminating the lethal HDV coinfection among hepatitis B patients.”
Hepatitis delta (or Hepatitis D) is caused by infection with HDV and is considered to be one of the most severe forms of viral hepatitis in humans. Hepatitis delta occurs only as a co-infection in individuals already infected with hepatitis B. Hepatitis delta leads to more severe liver disease than hepatitis B alone and is associated with accelerated liver fibrosis, liver cancer, liver failure, and higher risk of death and liver transplants.
“Eiger is committed to playing a leading role in developing novel treatments for HDV infection, the most lethal form of hepatitis, and building awareness of the need for widespread testing,” said Eduardo Martins, MD, DPhil, Senior Vice President of Liver and Infectious Diseases Drug Development at Eiger. “The campaign represents an important step toward expanding and accelerating broad-scale HDV testing, and arming physicians and patients with information they need.”
Hepatitis delta is a disease with a significant impact on global health, and due to migration, may affect up to approximately 15-20 million people worldwide. The prevalence of HDV varies among different parts of the world. Globally, HDV infection is reported to be present in approximately 5-6% of chronic hepatitis B patients. The prevalence of HDV in patients infected with chronic hepatitis B is even higher in certain regions, including certain parts of Mongolia, China, Russia, Central Asia, Pakistan, Turkey, Africa, Pacific Islands and South America, with an HDV prevalence as high as 60% being reported in hepatitis B-infected patients in Mongolia and Pakistan.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation
The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read the blog at hepb.org/blog, follow the Hepatitis B Foundation on Twitter @HepBFoundation and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call 215-489-4900.
About Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc.
Eiger is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing to market novel products for the treatment of rare diseases. The company has built a diverse portfolio of well-characterized product candidates with the potential to address diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is clear, and for which an effective therapy is urgently needed.
About ARUP Laboratories, Inc.
Founded in 1984, ARUP Laboratories is a leading national reference laboratory and a nonprofit enterprise of the University of Utah and its Department of Pathology. ARUP offers more than 3,000 tests and test combinations, ranging from routine screening tests to esoteric molecular and genetic assays. ARUP serves clients across the United States, including many of the nation’s top university teaching hospitals and children’s hospitals, as well as multihospital groups, major commercial laboratories, group purchasing organizations, military and other government facilities, and major clinics. In addition, ARUP is a worldwide leader in innovative laboratory research and development, led by the efforts of the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology®.