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Drug-Resistant Hepatitis B Virus: Still a Major Issue in Europe
Aug 24 – The largest study ever conducted on drug resistance in patients infected with Hepatitis B in Europe shows that half of patients in whom HBV is not fully suppressed by treatment harbor the drug-resistant virus. This is because doctors in Europe are still prescribing old antiviral drugs, which may also cause resistance to modern compounds. Read more.
People With Hepatitis B Can Safely Use Truvada PrEP for HIV Prevention
Aug 24 – People with hepatitis B virus did not experience liver inflammation 'flares' or other adverse events when they used or stopped using Truvada for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), according to an analysis from the iPrEx study. Read more.
Bionic Liver Micro-Organs Explain Off-Target Toxicity of Acetaminophen
Aug 24 – The development of a liver-on-a-chip device, including nanotechnology-based sensors that mimic human physiology, may lead to critical models to predict drug toxicity of the liver. Read more.
Multi-National Group of Scientists Developing New Test for Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Aug 24 – A group of clinicians and geochemists are working to develop a test for hepatocellular carcinoma based on methods used to measure the stable isotope compositions of rocks and minerals. Read more.
Migration Contributes to Flat HBV Infection Prevalence Rate in U.S.
Aug 17 – The prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus infection in the United Sates has remained constant since 1999, despite increasing immune protection, according to a study published online in Hepatology. Read more.
8 Countries Test New Cuban Vaccine Against Chronic Hepatitis B
Aug 17 – A new Cuban vaccine against chronic hepatitis B, created by the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, or CIGB, is currently undergoing clinical trials in eight countries, organized with the collaboration of the French company Abivax. Read more.
NYC Health Centers Educate Infected Pregnant Women About Hepatitis B, Protect Newborn Babies From Virus
Aug 17 – A unique hepatitis B perinatal program in NYC health centers successfully intervenes and prevents HBV transmission from mother to child in immigrant women who are disproportionately impacted by chronic HBV. Read more.
Newly Discovered Cells Regenerate Liver Tissue Without Forming Tumors
Aug 17 – The mechanisms that allow the liver to repair and regenerate itself have long been a matter of debate. Now researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a population of liver cells that are better at regenerating liver tissue than ordinary liver cells, without giving rise to tumors. Read more.
Data Supporting Updating Estimates of the Prevalence of Chronic Hepatitis B and C in the United States
Aug 10 – Viral hepatitis leaders led by Dr. R Gish, Medical Director of the Hepatitis B Foundation, published a paper arguing current prevalence estimates underestimate the number of those affected by hepatitis B and C by excluding groups and communities most impacted. The leaders call for an update of current prevalence estimates to better respond to the viral hepatitis epidemic in the U.S. Read more.
Global Prevalence of Chronic HBV Infection
Aug 10 – Although the prevalence of hepatitis B is decreasing in many countries, the burden of infection remains high, especially in the African and Western Pacific regions, according to the NEJM Journal Watch Associate Editor, reviewing the recent Lancet article. Read more.
TDF Therapy in Pregnancy Reduces HBV DNA, Risk of Vertical Transmission
Aug 10 – Viremic mothers treated with tenofovir (TDF) during pregnancy had decreased hepatitis B virus DNA levels in their blood, which reduced the infection’s DNA serum levels in infants at birth and reduced overall mother-to-child transmission, according to data from a recent study published in Hepatology. Read more.
IP10 Levels Linked to HBsAg Decline During TDF Treatment
Aug 10 – Baseline serum interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP10) levels predict hepatitis B surface antigen reduction in patients with hepatitis B e antigen-negative chronic hepatitis B treated with tenofovir (TDF), findings indicate. Read more.
Bucks County Researchers in Hunt for Hepatitis B Cure
Aug 3 – A Canadian drug company with research facilities in the Pennsylvania Biotech Center in Bucks County expects to begin human testing of four potential hepatitis B treatments during the first half of next year, with a single goal to deliver a cure for chronic hepatitis B. Read more.
Aug 3 – Across our country and around the world, hepatitis B and C have taken countless lives and the numbers continue to explode. Powerful blog by Senator Mazie Hirono, Hawaii, and Representative Mike Honda, California, our hepatitis B heroes on the Hill! Read more.
DOH Partners With Local Filmmakers to Raise Hepatitis Awareness
Aug 3 – To raise awareness about viral hepatitis in Hawaii, the Hawaii State Department of Health and Hep Free Hawaii have partnered with local filmmakers to create short films highlighting the inspirational stories of local people living with or affected by hepatitis, encouraging residents to learn their risk for hepatitis and request appropriate screenings from healthcare providers. Read more.
Ghana Develops National Policy on Viral Hepatitis
Aug 3 – Ghana Health Services has launched a National Policy on Viral Hepatitis in response to WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, and her call to action for African countries to develop national plans for the prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis. Read more.
Despite the fact that hepatitis B infects 1 out of every 20 individuals (12 million people) in the United States, more than 50% of Americans are not aware that a hepatitis B vaccine even exists. Read press release.
Antiviral Research Articles Explore Cutting-Edge Treatments That Could Lead to a Cure
July 27 – In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the hepatitis B virus, the journal Antiviral Research has published a series of free articles entitled Hepatitis B: A Wave of New Therapies on the Horizon. The special collection, which explores new drug targets, compounds and experimental strategies to eradicate hepatitis B, was compiled by Dr. Timothy Block and leading scientists of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. Read or download the articles for free.
WHO Calls For Urgent Action to Curb Hepatitis
July 27 – The World Health Organization highlights the need for countries to enhance action to prevent viral hepatitis infection and to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment. This year WHO will launch a Global Injection Safety Initiative in 3 flagship countries, Egypt, Uganda and India. Read more.
China's Hepatitis Crises
July 27 – A new study has found serious deficits in the national response to viral hepatitis - including a poor understanding of the infection within the general public, poor diagnosis process, treatment access, and significant stigma related to the infection. Read more.
India Not Doing Enough to Tackle Spread of Hepatitis B: WHO Report
July 27 – Hepatitis B poses a huge threat in India, where WHO estimates that 2%-5% of the population may be affected. The WHO report criticizes India’s approach to tackling the hepatitis B virus, and notes a deficiency in a number of areas. Read more.
Join the HHS World Hepatitis Day Observance on Tuesday, July 28
July 20 – July 28th marks the 6th annual World Hepatitis Day (WHD), an opportunity to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and come together to share our successes and strategize about our challenges. Importantly, WHD provides a platform to mobilize greater support for our continued work toward better surveillance and prevention programs and improved access to diagnosis and treatment, through focused governmental and nongovernmental action. Read more.
Drug Resistance Common Among European Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B
July 20 – Rates of lamivudine resistance are high among patients with chronic hepatitis B infection across Europe, with many patients developing cross-resistance to entecavir, according to a new report. Read more.
Separating Fact From Fiction in the Newborn Nursery: Hepatitis B Vaccine for Newborns
July 20 – A pediatric hospitalist addresses concerns about the hepatitis B vaccine and the necessity of the birth dose of the vaccine for all of newborn babies. Read more.
World Hepatitis Day: Preventing Hepatitis B in New York City
July 20 – Vivian Huang, MD MPH of the Charles B Wang Community Health Center looks at preventing Hepatitis B in at-risk communities in New York City, and the need for broader access of hepatitis B vaccine services for all. Read more.
Education, Prevention and the Eradication of Hepatitis | Commentary
July 13 – Representative Mike Honda highlights the need for a robust plan to eliminate viral hepatitis, and the investment necessary to implement the plan. Great op-ed piece from our hepatitis B Hero in Congress! Read more.
Antiviral Treatment for Hepatitis B Improves Liver Function After Decompensation
July 13 – Early treatment with antiviral therapy can restore liver function and increase survival in chronic hepatitis B patients with decompensated cirrhosis who might otherwise need a liver transplant, according to a Korean study published in Hepatology. Read more.
Patients with Hepatitis B Virus Infection Have Higher Fibromyalgia Incidence
July 13 – Patients with hepatitis B have a higher incidence of fibromyalgia, a medical disorder characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and stiffness, according to a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. Read more.
Hepatic ALT Flares Linked to HBsAg Clearance
July 6 – Hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT) flares are associated with rapid decline and greater annual reductions of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus who achieve HBsAg seroclearance, say Japanese researchers. Read more.
dlDNA Marks Progression of HBV-Related Liver Disease
July 6 – The level of serum duplex-linear DNA (dlDNA) increases markedly with liver disease progression and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B, suggests research published in Gut. Read more.
Syringe Exchange Program Highlights Infectious Disease Levels in West Virginia
July 6 – West Virginia (WV) unveils the state’s first syringe exchange program in an effort to reduce overdose deaths and the spread of infectious diseases. WA has the highest rate of new hepatitis B cases in the country, and the second highest rate of hepatitis C cases. Read more.
Unhygienic Dental Practices Puts 12,000 Australians at HIV & Hepatitis Risk
July 6 – More than 11,000 dental patients in the Australian city of Sydney may have been exposed to HIV and viral hepatitis because of unhygienic practices at four clinics across the city over a number of years. Read more.
Intradermal HBV Vaccine Appears Safe, Effective for Intramuscular Nonresponders
June 29 - For intramuscular hepatitis B virus vaccine nonresponders, intradermal vaccine administration seems efficacious and safe, according to a study published online June 23 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Read more.
ABIVAX: a New Weapon in the Fight Against Hepatitis B
June 29 – A new therapeutic vaccine for chronic hepatitis B currently in clinical trials in Asia Pacific could revolutionize the treatment of the disease. Read more.
Does Hepatocellular Carcinoma Differ in People with Hepatitis B and C?
June 29 – Liver cancer patients with hepatitis B at a large U.S. cancer center appeared to have worse disease status than those with hepatitis C, including larger tumors and more extensive liver involvement, according to research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting this month in Chicago. Read more.
New Prescribing and Dispensing Arrangements Make GPs Central to the Response to Hepatitis B
June 29 – New arrangements for the prescribing and dispensing of medicines for people living with chronic hepatitis B in Australia will go into effect July 1, 2015, improving access to antiviral treatment. Read more.
Hepatitis B Screening [Prior to Cancer Treatment]
June 22 – The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued an updated provisional clinical opinion, a risk-adaptive strategy to identify and treat patients with hepatitis B to reduce the risk of HBV reactivation. Read more.
Mother-to-Child Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus in Sub-Saharan Africa
June 22 – The Global Burden of Disease Study highlighted the importance of chronic hepatitis B and it’s effect on health. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 8% of the population are chronic carriers. Despite the success in reducing the number of deaths and infant infections of HIV over the last decade, the prevention and management of hepatitis B infection lags well behind. According to the Lancet, it’s “Time to Act.” Read more.
An Estimated 65,000 Philadelphians Are Living with Chronic Hepatitis B or C, and Most Go Undiagnosed and Untreated
June 22 - Too many Philadelphians are dying prematurely of liver disease linked to infection with the hepatitis B or C viruses, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation, Hep B United Philadelphia and the Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia, who recently urged Philadelphia City Council Members to support efforts to improve screening and care for at-risk populations. Read more.
Hepatitis B and C Responsible for More Than Nine Out of 10 Prison Diseases in the UK
June 22 – UK health officials say that hepatitis B and C cases accounted for 93 percent of infectious disease reports in English prisons during 2014, according to Public Health England. Read more.
Chinese Police Detain Two Activists Linked to Prominent NGO
June 15 – The clampdown on the work of non-profits continues in China with the arrest of two Yirenping activists. Yirenping advocates for the rights of hepatitis B carriers, and others who are facing discrimination. Read more.
Using Interferon with Hepatitis B Antivirals Raises Likelihood of HBsAg Loss
June 15 – Treating chronic hepatitis B with tenofovir plus pegylated interferon for 48 weeks resulted in a higher rate of hepatitis B surface antigen clearance than either drug taken alone, though the response rate was still just 9%, according to a study presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver 50th International Liver Congress. Read more.
Hepatitis B Vaccine Less Effective in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
June 15 – People with rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to be protected by hepatitis B vaccination than the general population, new research presented at European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress suggests. Read more.
Heroin Fallout: Hepatitis Increases
June 15 – An increase in drug use, particularly heroin and the involvement of syringes, is increasing the number of viral hepatitis cases in West Virginia, which is reported to have the highest rate of new hepatitis B cases. Read more.
Comparable Efficacy With Entecavir Monotherapy and Tenofovir–Entecavir Combination in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients
June 8 – This Open Access article compares the outcomes of Entecavir monotherapy versus combination therapy with Tenofovir-Entecavir, including time to reach HBV undetectability, treatment cost and adherence. Read more.
MiR-181b Potential Biomarker of Replication, Progression in Chronic HBV
June 8 – A Chinese team reports a correlation between serum levels of microRNA (miR)-181b and hepatitis B virus replication and disease progression in patients with chronic HBV infection. Read more.
Meta-Analysis Sheds Light on Effectiveness of Chronic HBV Treatments
June 8 – A meta-analysis of treatments for chronic hepatitis B suggests that tenofovir (TDF) is the most effective option for patients positive and negative for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), but the latter group may also benefit from entecavir treatment. Read more.
Drug Prevents Passage of HBV During Pregnancy
June 8 – The antiviral drug telbivudine prevents perinatal transmission of hepatitis B virus, according to a study in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Read more.
June 1 - Three police officers are awaiting their fate after a woman with hepatitis B spat blood in their faces, Scotland Yard has said. A 20-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, but as she was being taken into custody she bit her lip and spat blood at the trio. Read more.
June 1 - From 8 to 25% of people in certain population groups in Vietnam are detected with hepatitis B virus, said Vietnam's Ministry of Health's General Department of Preventive Medicine (GDPM). The statistics was released at a seminar held by the GDPM in Hanoi on implementation of a plan on prevention and fight against viral hepatitis during 2015-2019 period. Read more.
June 1 - Most hepatitis B patients who stop taking tenofovir (Viread) after more than 3 years on treatment had good outcomes, according to a presentation at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) 50th International Liver Congress last month in Vienna. Read more.
Talented Bacteria Detect [Liver] Cancer, Diabetes
June 1 - Researchers reported they had equipped E. coli bacteria with genetically encoded digital amplifying genetic switches, which transformed them into living sensors. In one of the studies, engineered bacteria provided warning--in the form of a visible change in the color of the mouse’s urine--when a tumor had established itself in the liver. Read more.
DOH, Pharmacies Team to Offer Hepatitis Assessments
May 26 - The Hawai’i State Department of Health has begun a partnership with local pharmacies to give patients the opportunity to be assessed for viral hepatitis. The partnership began Tuesday, coinciding with National Hepatitis Testing Day. Read more.
Hepatitis B and C Coinfection Linked to Worse Fibrosis Than Hepatitis B Alone
May 26 – People coinfected with both hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses may experience more rapid and severe liver disease progression than those with hepatitis B alone, though HBV/HCV coinfection did not appear to worsen hepatitis C progression, according to a French study. Read more.
Diagnosis, Treatment of HCC Remhallengingains C
May 26 –There are many challenges associated with the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from start to finish, including unmet needs in patients with hepatitis B and HCC, according to Dr. Laura Dawson. Read more.
Anxiety and Depression is Linked With Increased Risk of Dying From Liver Disease
May 26 – Researchers found anxiety and depression is associated with a raised risk of death from a variety of liver diseases, though experts do not fully understand why mental health is linked to the illness. Read more.
Starved T Cells Allow Hepatitis B to Silently Infect Liver
May 18 – Hepatitis B stimulates processes that deprive the body's immune cells of key nutrients that they need to function, finds new UCL-led research funded by the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust. Read more.
Nucleic Acid Polymer REP 2139-Ca Shows Promise Against Hepatitis B and Delta Viruses
May 18 – The nucleic acid-based polymer REP 2139-Ca lowered hepatitis B surface antigen levels and significantly reduced hepatitis B and hepatitis delta viral loads when combined with immunotherapy, according to presentations at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) 50th International Liver Congress last month in Vienna. Read more.
Sequencing Technique Unveiling the Realm of Viral Mutations
May 18 – Researchers at A*STAR have devised a sequencing technique that can track specific viral variants produced when viruses such as hepatitis B rapidly mutate within individual patients. The breakthrough allows an unprecedented view of evolving virus population structures, and could help in the creation of new drugs that prevent the development of strains resistant to drugs and immune responses. Read more.
MD Anderson Researchers Find Significant Clinical Variations Among Liver Cancer Patients
May 18 – Significant clinical variations exist among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, depending on the viral cause of the disease -hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus. These differences suggest that hepatitis status should be considered when developing treatment plans for newly diagnosed patients, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Read more.
U.S. Top Court Rejects Hepatitis B Drug Patent Case
May 11 – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday brought to an end Bristol-Myers Squibb Company's attempt to revive patent protection for its Baraclude treatment for hepatitis B. Read more.
Hep B Testing And Treatment Shortchanging Vets
May 11 – Both the testing for and treatment of hepatitis B infection in the United States is inadequate, according to an analysis of data from the Veterans Health Administration. Read more.
Vietnam Among Countries with Alarming Hepatitis B Infection Rate
May 11 - Vietnam is one of the countries whose hepatitis B infections have reached an alarming rate as 10-20 percent of its population has contracted the disease, local health authorities have warned. Read more.
FRONTLINE CANCER: Fighting Liver Cancer
May 11 – Among the myriad of malignancies that plague us, liver cancer doesn’t generally register. It’s not among the top 10 cancers in the United States, but its incidence and mortality rates are rising, and it is the second most common cause of cancer death in the world. Read more.
Social Media Tools to Help You Observe Hepatitis Awareness Month
May 4 – May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, providing us with 31 days to raise awareness of viral hepatitis in the United States. Awareness activities will take place throughout the month, with Tuesday, May 19th designated as National Hepatitis Testing Day. Check out resources and events for the month, and help raise awareness! Read more.
Tenofovir DF Prevents Vertical Transmission in Mothers With Lamivudine-Resistant HBV
May 4 – Tenofovir (TDF) safely and effectively blocks vertical transmission of hepatitis B in mothers with lamivudine-resistant HBV strains and was well tolerated by pregnant women in their second and third trimesters, according to a study presented at EASL. Read more.
Female Student Isolated for Carrying HBV, Commits Suicide
May 4 – Shunned by students and faculty, a freshman college student with chronic hepatitis B takes her life, despite a Chinese Ministry of Health ruling against discrimination of those with chronic HBV. Education and awareness is essential to eliminate the stigma of hepatitis B. Read more.
Tenofovir Cessation After Long-Term Treatment in HBV-Infected Patients Associated With Greater Decline in HBsAg
May 4 – Stopping tenofovir (TDF) treatment after long-term virologic suppression is safe and associated with a more profound decline in hepatitis B surface antigen levels than continuous treatment in patients with hepatitis B e antigen-negative chronic hepatitis B who have undetectable HBV DNA, according to a study presented at EASL. Read more.
Expanded Vaccination and Treatment Could Help Eliminate Hepatitis B Worldwide
April 27 – While universal infant hepatitis B vaccination has already led to major advances in reducing new infections in some settings, further expansion of prevention and treatment are needed to significantly reduce HBV transmission and liver disease mortality, according to an analysis presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver 50th International Liver Congress. Read more.
New Survey Shows That Half of People With Hepatitis Suffer From Discrimination
April 27 – As many as half of people infected with viral hepatitis have suffered discrimination and one-quarter admit that family members have avoided physical contact with them after finding out they had the infection. A shocking patient survey presented at The International Liver Congress 2015 has shown the devastating impact the infection has on their daily lives. Read more.
Cancer Drug Shows Promise as Cure for Hepatitis B
April 27 – Australian scientists have found a potential cure for hepatitis B virus infections, with a promising new treatment proving 100 per cent successful in eliminating the infection in preclinical models. Read more.
HepB e-Antigen, Fewer Vaccinations Boost Baby's Risk
April 27 – Infants born to mothers with hepatitis B were more likely to develop the infection themselves if their mothers had more severe forms of HBV or they received fewer than the required number of HBV vaccine doses at birth, according to data from several small publicly funded health programs. Read more.
The Case for Keeping Viral Hepatitis in the SDGs
April 20 – It’s time to make viral hepatitis a priority, with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) focusing on developing a global hepatitis elimination strategy. Final draft comments are due April 30. Read more.
Type 2 Diabetes Does Not Affect Hepatitis B Vaccination
April 20 – Type 2 diabetes does not negatively affect the immune response to the three-dose hepatitis B vaccine, an international trial suggests. Read more
Immune Cells Can Promote Liver Cancer
April 20 – A team of Newcastle University scientists have found that specialized immune cells in our bodies that normally act to protect us from infections can have a dark side in the development of liver cancer. Read more.
J&J Partners with Startup for DNA Vaccine, Hand-Held Device to Treat HBV
April 20 – Janssen Pharmaceuticals has paired up with Ichor Medical Systems to develop and market DNA-based vaccine products to treat chronic hepatitis B. The partners will use the startup's TriGrid electroporation technology for clinical administration of a DNA vaccine. Read more.
Global Hepatitis B Epidemic Treatable at Cost of Just $36 Per Patient Per Year
April 13 – Large-scale production of generic entecavir could cut the cost of first-line hepatitis B therapy to just $36 per patient per year, possibly facilitating low-cost global therapy for HBV. Read more.
As WHO Drafts Its Global Health Strategies, a Need to Reconsider Viral Hepatitis Response
April 13 – WHO is drafting its global health strategies and seeking input on 3 global health sectors including viral hepatitis. It's time hepatitis B gets the attention it deserves with a focus on a strategic public health response. Comments are due by April 30, 2015. Read more.
End-Stage Liver Disease is a Concern for People With HIV and Hepatitis B or C Co-Infection
April 13 – People with HIV and hepatitis B or C virus co-infection are more likely to progress to end-stage liver disease, or liver failure, than those with HIV alone, and individuals triply infected with all three viruses face the greatest risk, according to study findings presented at the recent CROI 2015. Read more.
Nigeria: Growing Scourge of Hepatitis B in Nigeria
April 13 – Over 350 million people worldwide are infected with chronic hepatitis B, with Nigeria topping the list of African countries with a high incidence rate, with over 20 million Nigerians infected and thousands dying from liver-related diseases every year. Read more.
African Immigrants at Increased Risk for Hepatitis B
April 6 – As many as 1.4 million people in the U.S. are chronically infected with hepatitis B, and one population disproportionately impacted is the African immigrant community. Now there is the Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin (CHIPO) to help improve HBV awareness, and access to information, screening, vaccination, and linkage to care. Read more.
Oral Hepatitis B Vaccine Could Become a Reality
April 6 – Researchers report progress toward perfecting a radical new method of producing vaccines using genetically modified corn. The approach could lead to an oral hepatitis B vaccine that requires no refrigeration and costs less than $1 per dose to manufacture. Read more.
Many Cancer Patients at Risk for Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation
April 6 – To screen or not to screen all patients for hepatitis B prior to chemotherapy? That is the question, and the topic debated by a program committee at the 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. Read more.
Institute Assembles Team of 'All-Star Researchers' to Cure Hepatitis B
March 30– The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute has recruited a team of “all Star researchers” who will focus exclusively on developing a cure for hepatitis B, with a goal for breakthrough therapies within the next three years. Read more.
New Liver Cancer Report, New Links Emerge: Coffee Is Protective, Obesity Increases Risk
March 30 – A report from an ongoing systematic review of global research finds that drinking coffee lowers the risk of liver cancer, while there is strong evidence linking obesity and increased alcohol consumption to an increased risk for liver cancer, a disease that is increasing in the U.S. and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Read more.
Study Suggests HBV Exposure Matures Infants' Immune Systems
March 30 - A Singapore led study has shown that Hepatitis B Virus Infection exposure increases the immune system maturation of infants, which may give a better survival advantage to counteract bacterial infection during early life. Read more.
Combination Therapy Boosts Antiviral Response to Chronic Infection
March 30 – A Yale-led team has identified a promising new combination immunotherapy to enhance the body's ability to fight chronic viral infections and possibly cancer. Read more.
Mutations Inhibiting Hepatitis B Antigen May Drive Occult Infection
March 23 – Viral mutations may allow hepatitis B virus to persist in the liver by evading immune surveillance, according to an Australian study of occult hepatitis B infection. Read more.
UCLA Public Health Researchers Go to Church to Promote Hepatitis B Screening
March 23 – To reach a vulnerable population largely unaware of the health risks, a team from the Fielding School for Public Health held small group discussions in more than 50 Los Angeles-area Korean churches. Read more.
Female N Korean Defectors Prone to Cancer-Causing Viruses
March 23 – Female defectors from North Korea are at a higher-than-average risk of infection by the human papillomavirus and the hepatitis B virus, with more support needed from the South Korean government for women’s health. Read more.
Federal Judge Lets NY Prison Hepatitis Policy Claim Proceed
March 23 – A lawsuit that says New York state officials, including former Gov. George Pataki, supported a policy to trim medical costs that led to the denial of hepatitis treatment for some inmates can proceed to trial, a judge has ruled. Read more.
WHO Issues Its First Hepatitis B Treatment Guidelines
March 16 – WHO issued its first-ever guidance for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, particularly in settings with limited resources. These guidelines were developed by a committee led by Dr. Brian McMahon, with Joan Block, HBF's Executive Director, representing the patient advocacy community. Read more.
Hospitals Across New York Struggle to Vaccinate Newborns Against Deadly Hepatitis B Virus
March 16 – A New York World review of data released by the state Department of Health revealed that more than half of state’s birthing hospitals reported vaccinating less than 90 percent of newborns against hepatitis B before they were released from the hospital, failing to meet standards set by the state. Read more.
HBV genotype C HBeAg Seroconversion Rate ‘Negligible’
March 16 – Patients with chronic hepatitis B virus genotype C infection who are positive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) should not delay antiviral treatment in the hope of seroconversion, Korean researchers recommend. Read more.
Amitabh Bachchan to Give Shot in the Arm to Govt’s Campaign Against Hepatitis B
March 16 – The government has asked Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as brand ambassador for its campaign against hepatitis B, a critical public health problem facing India. Read more.
Tekmira Announces Completion of the Merger With OnCore
March 9 – Tekmira Pharmaceuticals announced the completion of the merger with OnCore Biopharma creating an industry leading therapeutic solutions company focusing on a cure for chronic hepatitis B. Read more...
Chinese Researchers Report Successful Hepatitis E Vaccine
March 9 - A new vaccine for hepatitis E provides protection from the virus for at least 4.5 years, according to Chinese researchers. Read more...
Roche Launches Next-Generation HBV Viral load Assay
March 9 – Roche announced the commercial availability of the cobas HBV quantitative nucleic acid test for use on the cobas 6800/8800 Systems, which offers broad coverage of all know HBV genotypes. Read more...
Prevention of Perinatal Hepatitis B Transmission in Haimen City, China
March 2 – The Hepatitis B Foundation’s second paper from its successful 3-year public health campaign in Haimen City, China, was published in Vaccine and focused on results from the perinatal HBV program. Over a 12 month period, all pregnant women in the city were tested for hepatitis B (total of 5,407), and those who tested positive were provided education and counseling, and their newborns received the first dose of the HBV vaccine and one dose of HBIG in the delivery room. All newborns of infected moms were then tested at 12 months for evidence of protective surface antibodies from the vaccine. Although inadequate response or nonresponse to HBV vaccine was more common among babies born to HBeAg-positive and/or high viral load mothers, these risk factors did not completely predict non-responsiveness. Read more.
ABIVAX Doses First Patient in ABX203 Phase IIb/III Trial for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B
March 2 –ABX203, a therapeutic vaccine, has been dosed in the first patient in a Phase IIb/III clinical trial to assess if it can deliver a significant improvement in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Read more.
‘Most’ Cirrhotic HBV Patients Benefit From Adding Adefovir to Lamivudine
March 2 – Response-guided addition of adefovir to lamivudine-based therapy not only maintains long-term viral suppression in Chinese chronic hepatitis B patients with compensated liver cirrhosis, research suggests, but also improves liver function. Read more.
Hong Kong Researcher's Cancer-Test Technology Named in World Top
March 2 – A new method, referred to as "Liquid Biopsy" can detect cancer early using only a few drops of blood, and was developed by a Hong Kong researcher, and named as one of the top 10 breakthrough technologies this year. Read more.
IL-23 Predicts PegIFN Response in Chronic HBV
Feb 23 - High baseline serum levels of interleukin (IL)-23 can help to identify hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B patients who are likely to respond to pegylated interferon (PegIFN) treatment, a Chinese study indicates. Read more.
TDF Monotherapy ‘Reasonable’ Option in Entecavir-Resistant HBV
Feb 23 - The efficacy of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) monotherapy is comparable to that of TDF plus entecavir in chronic hepatitis B patients with genotypic resistance to entecavir, according to researchers from the Republic of Korea. Read more.
Antiviral Treatment Improves Survival in Sorafenib-Treated Hepatitis B Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Feb 23 - For sorafenib-treated patients with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma, antiviral therapy with nucleoside analogues is associated with improved survival, according to a study published online in theJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Read more.
Government Panel Recommends FIVE CUPS of Coffee a Day to Ward Off Heart Disease, Liver Cancer and Parkinson's
Feb 23 – A panel of experts from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which convenes every five years, did a detailed assessment of coffee for the first time, and suggests 3-5 cups of the caffeinated beverage may help keep the doctor away, along with reducing the risk of liver cancer. Read more.
50th Anniversary of Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg’s First Paper on the Hepatitis B Virus
Feb 16 – Known at the time as the “Australia Antigen”, this original publication, written by Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg, looks at the identification of the hepatitis B surface antigen, and was published in JAMA. Dr. Blumberg and his team were responsible for the discovery of the hepatitis B virus and subsequent diagnostics and vaccine to identify and prevent hepatitis B infection. Dr. Blumberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1976 for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus, and was instrumental in establishing the Hepatitis B Foundation in 1991. Read more.
Hot On The Trail Of The Hepatitis-Liver Cancer Connection
Feb 16 – For the first time, scientists have demonstrated the profound effect that chronic hepatitis infection and inflammation can have on the genetic mutations found in tumors of the liver, potentially paving the way to a better understanding of the mechanisms through which these chronic infections can lead to cancer. Read more.
Galapagos Gets EUR1.6 Mln IWT Grant For Hepatitis B Program
Feb 16 – The Flemish Agency for Innovation through Science and Technology has awarded a 1.6 million euros grant to support the development of new antiviral therapies against hepatitis B. Read more.
Reactivation of Hepatitis B Can Be Prevented and Treated During Immunosuppressive Drug Therapy
Feb 9 – Long-term immunosuppressive therapy can cause the hepatitis B virus to reactivate, even in patients who are not aware that they are infected with HBV. A new guideline from the American Gastroenterological Association provides guidance to physicians and patients who use immunosuppressive agents for the treatment of a variety of disorders, including gastrointestinal, dermatologic, neurologic and rheumatologic, among others. Read more.
Gut Microbes May Play a Role in Age-Related Hepatitis B Virus Clearance
Feb 9 – Treating adult mice with antibiotics to wipe out their intestinal microbiota made them unable to naturally clear hepatitis B, so they became more like young mice that developed chronic infection. The researchers also showed that mice lacking toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) cleared HBV regardless of age. Read more.
Obama Budget Boosts U.S. HIV and Hepatitis Funding, Cuts Global AIDS and TB
Feb 9 – President Obama's proposed $4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2016 would increase funding for viral hepatitis efforts by significantly increasing the budget for CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis, which has been underfunded relative to number of people affected by viral hepatitis. Get involved with federal advocacy and let your legislators know that funding for hepatitis B is important to you. Read more.
Liver Cancer Australia’s Most Deadly Cancer
Feb 9 – February 4th was World Cancer Day, and new analysis shows liver cancer looms as Australia's greatest cancer challenge, with one Australian dying of liver cancer for every Australian who is diagnosed with the disease. Read more.
A New Approach to Hepatitis B Therapy?
Feb 2 – Cyclophilins are involved in multiple steps of the hepatitis B virus life cycle in hepatocytes. A new approach is proposed involving a combination of a direct antiviral agent plus a cyclophilin inhibitor. Read more.
Age and HBsAg Level Predict NA-Induced HBeAg Seroconversion Durability
Feb 2 – The combination of age and baseline HBsAg level can help predict hepatitis B virus relapse in patients who achieve HBeAg loss or seroconversion following nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment. Read more.
Long-Term Effects of Antivirals in Patients with HBV-Related Cirrhosis
For patients with HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis, use of oral antivirals initiated early in treatment could have significant benefits in reducing the need for liver transplantation and improving long-term outcomes. Read more.
Discrimination 'Still Rampant’ Among Filipinos with Hepatitis B
Feb 2 - Despite efforts to increase public awareness on Hepatitis B, advocates fighting to eradicate the disease say discrimination against patients is "still rampant” in the Philippines. Read more.
Anti-viral Regimens Did Not Increase Risk for Renal Effects in HBV
Jan 26 – Anti-viral therapy did not increase the risk for renal disease among patients with hepatitis B, with or without renal risk factors before treatment, according to study data. Read more.
NIH Announces Funding for New Technologies for Viral Hepatitis
Jan 26 – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a funding opportunity announcement to encourage small businesses to address viral hepatitis research opportunities delineated in the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan. Read more.
Livers Kept Healthier for Transplant by New Machine-Perfusion Organ Preservation System
Jan 26 – A new preservation system that pumps cooled, oxygen-rich fluid into donor livers not only keeps the organs in excellent condition for as long as nine hours before transplantation, but also leads to dramatically better liver function and increases survival of recipients, according to a series of animal studies by researchers. Read more.
Falling Through the Cracks: Mothers With Hepatitis B Receive Inadequate Treatment, Follow-up
Jan 19 – More than one-third of women with the hepatitis B virus are initially diagnosed with the infection at their first prenatal care visit, but they do not receive follow-up care for the infection after their pregnancy, researchers have found. Read more.
FDA Orders Partial Hold on Arrowhead HBV Drug Trial
Jan 19 – Arrowhead Research this week announced that the US Food and Drug Administration ordered a partial hold on a planned Phase IIb trial of ARC-520, the company's RNAi-based drug candidate for hepatitis B. Read more.
Cancer 'Bad Luck' Theory Strongly Questioned by WHO Specialized Agency
Jan 19 – The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), WHO’s specialized cancer agency, strongly disagrees with the recent scientific report suggesting random mutations, or “bad luck” as the major contributor to cancer overall. Hepatitis B is highlighted with declines in liver cancer noted in countries with increased hepatitis B vaccination rates. Read more.
Scientists Claim Coffee Protects Our Liver
Jan 19 – The results of the recent study suggest that two cups of coffee per day can lower risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 60%, with the exception of cirrhosis caused by the hepatitis B virus infection. Read more.
Hepatitis B Patients Benefit from New Co-Payment Assistance
Jan 12 – Patient Advocate Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of a new assistance fund to their Co-Pay Relief program dedicated to assisting insured Hepatitis B patients with out of pocket pharmaceutical expenses. Read more.
Canada's Tekmira to Buy U.S.-Based OnCore Biopharma, Focus on HBV Treatment
Jan 12 – Canada's Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp agreed to buy Pennsylvania-based OnCore Biopharma Inc to focus on developing hepatitis B virus treatment by combining multiple therapeutic methods. Read more.
Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinators, a Vital CDC Program Helping to Achieve the Goals of the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan
Jan 12 – Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinators (VHPCs) are vital to the implementation of the nation’s Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, and ultimately, achievement of 3 of the national goals of reducing viral hepatitis transmission and disease. Read more.
Ugandan Govt Urged on Hepatitis B, the Forgotten Killer
Jan 12 – People living with hepatitis B have urged the Ugandan government to adopt policies and guidelines to fight the disease, whose spread is reportedly on the rise. Read more.
Neonatal HBV Vaccination Reduces the Risk of Liver Cancer and Other Liver Diseases in Young Adults in China
Jan 5 – Neonatal HBV vaccination reduces the risk of liver cancer and other liver diseases in young adults in China, according to a study based on long-term outcomes from a large, randomized controlled study. Read more.
Two-Thirds of Adult Cancers Largely Due to Bad Luck
Jan 5 – A new statistical model created by Johns Hopkins researchers may help measure the proportion of cancers caused by random mutations during stem cell division versus those related to environmental factors and heredity. Liver cancer incidence appeared to be a combination of both, as it is often associated with viral hepatitis. Read more.
Liver Cirrhosis More Common Than Previously Thought
Jan 5 – Cirrhosis of the liver is more common than previously thought, affecting more than 633,000 adults yearly, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. Read more.
ILBS Designated as WHO Collaborating Centre on Viral Hepatitis
Jan 5 – The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) on viral hepatitis and liver diseases. Asia houses over 75% of hepatitis B and C and liver cancer cases, and India has close to 60 million such patients. Read more.
Archived News Stories
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