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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2002 Feb;11(2):169-87.

Evolving therapies for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection.

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Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Carlton South, VIC 3053, Australia.


Despite the availability of prophylactic vaccines lamivudine and IFN-alpha, chronic hepatitis B remains an enormous global health problem. Several promising nucleosides/nucleotides are undergoing clinical trials, including adefovir dipivoxil, the latter of which is active against lamivudine-resistant hepatitis B virus (HBV). In addition to nucleosides/nucleotides, it will be important to develop new agents with different modes of action. Novel small molecule inhibitors, as well as gene therapy approaches, have produced encouraging results in vitro and in animal models. Additional immunomodulatory therapies, including thymosin-alpha 1, IL-12 and several therapeutic vaccines, are also being explored. Combination therapy with multiple nucleosides/nucleotides and other agents will play an important role in the treatment of hepatitis and may help achieve complete viral suppression, host-mediated elimination of infected cells and lasting immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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