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Hello, I'm Professor Fabien Zoulim from Lyon University working at
the Hepatology Department of the Hospices Civils de Lyon and at INSERM U1052.
Today I will be giving a presentation on the path towards a cure for chronic hepatitis B.
Chronic HBV infection remains
a major public health problem with more than 250 million chronic carriers worldwide.
The elimination of HBV infection will require a concerted action,
with better vaccine coverage among the population,
and improved access to antiviral treatment to treat all chronic carriers.
Currently, the antiviral treatments are mainly suppressive,
they are not curative,
so the field of HBV has made a lot of
research to better understand the mechanism involved
in the molecular pathogenesis and
the viral persistence with experimental studies that were performed in
cultured hepatocytes, in humanized mouse studies,
and in patients with translational studies.
All these new insights
have allowed us to identify novel targets,
and have allowed us to discover novel antiviral drugs.
These studies have also allowed us to identify novel biomarkers and
the current clinical studies are evaluating the novel antiviral drugs and
immunotherapeutics with the help of the novel biomarkers to investigate whether
the new strategies will improve the cure rate of
infection and will improve the prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma.
As I've said, the current anti-viral treatments are mainly suppressive.