Hepatitis B virus cure: Targets and future therapies

Hye Won Lee, Jae Seung Lee, Sang Hoon Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major global health problem. It can cause progressive liver fibrosis leading to cirrhosis with end-stage liver disease, and a markedly increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. In the last two decades, substantial progress has been made in the treatment of chronic hepatitis, B. However, HBV is often reactivated after stopping nucloes(t)ide analogues because antivirals alone do not directly target covalently closed circular DNA, which is the template for all viral RNAs. Therefore, although currently available antiviral therapies achieve suppression of HBV replication in the majority of patients, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss and seroconversion is rarely achieved despite long-term antiviral treatment (HBsAg loss of less than 10% in 5 years). Various clinical trials of agents that interrupt the HBV life cycle in hepatocytes have been conducted. Potential treatment strategies and new agents are emerging as HBV cure. A combination of current and new anti-HBV agents may increase the rate of HBsAg seroclearance; thus, optimized regimens must be validated. Here, we review the newly investigated therapeutic compounds and the results of preclinical and/or clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dong-Su Jang from the Medical Research Support Section of Yonsei University College of Medicine for designing the figure.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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