At this time chronic hepatitis B can not be cured. This doesn’t mean that researchers are not trying to find a cure. In an earlier blog piece from Christine Kukka, Gilead is investigating the use of their HBV drug, tenofovir, in combination with a therapeutic vaccine to find out if HBV can be cured with the combination of these two drugs.
There is even more promising research from Gildead: Tenofovir plus GS-9620, a TLR7 agonist, is being tested as a possible cure for chronic hepatitis B. TLR7 agonists work by stimulating the innate immune system. The combination of tenofovir and GS-9260 could provide a double punch—tenofovir to bring the HBV DNA (viral load) down to undetectable levels, and the TLR7 agonist to boost the immune system to fight off HBV possibly permanently.
This study is in early development so we won’t know for quite some time if this works, but it does offer hope.
About GS-9620: Gilead has conducted successful studies with GS-9620 in chimpanzees and moved into human studies last year. In a study of 75 healthy volunteers who received various doses of GS-9620 with and without food, GS-9620 was found to be safe and well-tolerated. Based on the results of this study, 3 clinical trials were started last year in people with chronic hepatitis B. Two of the studies have been completed and results are pending. The third study is on-going and can be found at: http://www.clinicaltrial.gov/ct2/show/NCT01590654?term=gs-9620&rank=2