HBV Programs

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person. It is estimated that 240 million people worldwide are chronically infected, and 15-25% of patients with chronic HBV infection develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver decompensation. It is also estimated that more than 780,000 people die every year due to complications of hepatitis B. Estimates for the total number of persons chronically infected with HBV in the US vary but generally range between 550,000 and 2,000,000 million. Combining US, Japan, and major EU populations, estimates of prevalence have been as high as 4.9 million.

Current approaches to treatment include interferon therapy and/or inhibitors of HBV reverse transcriptase. Treatment with interferon offers modest cure rates, and is accompanied by serious side effects. Reverse transcriptase inhibitors can be very effective at suppressing the virus but rarely result in full eradication of the virus from the liver. New treatments that can provide functional cures to chronically-infected patients are urgently needed.

Enanta’s current research efforts in HBV are focused on core inhibitors with the aim of developing a functional cure. Preclinical lead optimization continues to progress, with the goal of identifying a development candidate in 2017.

About Hepatitis B Virus

It is estimated that 15-25% of patients with chronic HBV infection will develop chronic liver diseases including cirrhosis, HCC, or liver decompensation. Though some estimates are higher, WHO and CDC currently state worldwide prevalence at 240 million people for people living with chronic HBV.

More than 780,000 people die every year due to complications of hepatitis B, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.