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Gastroenterology. 2009 Feb;136(2):486-95. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.10.026. Epub 2008 Nov 1.

2-Year GLOBE trial results: telbivudine Is superior to lamivudine in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

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  • 1Liver Research Unit, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



The GLOBE trial has compared the efficacy and safety of telbivudine versus lamivudine treatment over 2 years in patients with chronic hepatitis B.


Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive (n = 921) and HBeAg-negative (n = 446) patients received telbivudine or lamivudine once daily for 104 weeks. The primary outcome, assessed in the intent-to-treat population, was therapeutic response (hepatitis B virus DNA <5 log(10) copies/mL and either HBeAg loss or normalization of alanine aminotransferase [ALT] level).


The therapeutic response to telbivudine was superior to that of lamivudine in HBeAg-positive (63% vs 48%; P < .001) and HBeAg-negative (78% vs 66%; P = .007) patients. HBeAg-positive patients given telbivudine also had better outcomes compared with lamivudine in terms of nondetectable viremia (< 300 copies/mL) at 55.6% versus 38.5% (P < .001), HBeAg loss at 35.2% versus 29.2% (P = .056), and viral resistance at 25.1% versus 39.5% (P < .001). Hepatitis B e antigen seroconversion was 29.6% versus 24.7% (P = .095) in all patients and 36% versus 27% (P = .022) in patients with baseline ALT level > or = 2 times normal. Telbivudine-treated HBeAg-negative patients showed higher rates of nondetectable viremia compared with lamivudine at 82.0% versus 56.7% (P < .001) and less resistance at 10.8% versus 25.9% (P < .001). Adverse events occurred with similar frequency, whereas grade 3/4 increases in creatine kinase levels were more common in patients given telbivudine (12.9% vs 4.1%, P < .001). Multivariate logistic regression analyses identified telbivudine treatment, among other variables, as an independent predictor of better week 104 outcomes.


Telbivudine is superior to lamivudine in treating patients with chronic hepatitis B over a 2-year period.

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