Novel therapies and potential therapeutic targets in the management of chronic hepatitis B
Chronic hepatitis B is a persistent and progressive inflammatory liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). More than 240 million individuals are infected with HBV worldwide and hepatitis B accounts for an estimated 650 000 deaths annually. Approximately up to 30% of chronically infected patients will develop complications of HBV infection including, but not limited to, liver cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently approved therapies have improved clinical outcomes, but have a considerable side-effect profile, elevated cost, and a finite course of treatment. This has led to a growing interest in research for new therapies. As the mechanisms for HBV replication are becoming better understood, new potential targets have been discovered, leading to the development of new therapies. In this article, we describe the promising therapies that are under evaluation, showing their mechanisms of action, effects, and stage of development.