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Alan Franciscus
Editor-in-Chief
HCV Advocate
HBV Advocate

Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Drug Stimulates Immune System to Kill Infected Cells in Animal Model of Hepatitis B Infection

Apr. 26, 2013 — A novel drug developed by Gilead Sciences and tested in an animal model at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio suppresses hepatitis B virus infection by stimulating the immune system and inducing loss of infected cells.

In a study conducted at Texas Biomed's Southwest National Primate Research Center, researchers found that the immune modulator GS-9620, which targets a receptor on immune cells, reduced both the virus levels and the number of infected liver cells in chimpanzees chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Chimpanzees are the only species other than humans that can be infected by HBV. Therefore, the results from this study were critical in moving the drug forward to human clinical trials which are now in progress.

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