In Hep B, Functional Cure Likely Means Two-Part Combination Process
While current HBV drugs work well to suppress the virus, combination success in HIV and HCV is leading biopharmas to seek a multi-part approach to suppressing and clearing the virus, with limited-term therapy.
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Antios thinks ATI-2173, which employs the Pharmasset liver-targeting chemistry used in HCV blockbuster Sovaldi, can help produce a functional cure in hepatitis B combination therapy.
Biotech tried to show that a core inhibitor combined with standard hepatitis B therapy could yield lasting benefit after treatment. Vebicorvir will continue to be studied as a chronic treatment in HBV.
At EASL 2020, four partnerships updated RNA-interference or antisense efforts to reduce hep B surface antigen, believed to lead to functional cure of the virus. One analyst sees J&J/Arrowhead as the early leader.