Hepatitis D Virus and HBsAg Dynamics in the era of new Antiviral Treatments
Purpose of review: Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infection is the most severe form of chronic viral hepatitis, with no FDA-approved therapy. Progress in the development of effective HDV treatments is accelerating. This review highlights how mathematical modeling is improving understanding of HDV-HBsAg-host dynamics during antiviral therapy and generating insights into the efficacy and modes of action (MOA) of new antiviral agents.
Recent findings: Clinical trials with pegylated-interferon-λ, bulevertide, nucleic acid polymers, and/or lonafarnib against various steps of the HDV-life cycle have revealed new viral-kinetic patterns that were not observed under standard treatment with pegylated-interferon-α. Modeling indicated that the half-lives of circulating HDV and HBsAg are ~ 1.7 d and ~ 1.3 d, respectively, estimated the relative response of HDV and HBsAg during different antiviral therapies, and provided insights into the efficacy and MOA of drugs in development for treating HDV, which can inform response-guided therapy to individualize treatment duration. Mathematical modeling of HDV and HBsAg kinetics provides a window into the HDV virus lifecycle, HDV-HBsAg-host dynamics during antiviral therapy, and the MOA of new drugs for HDV.
Keywords: Bulevertide; Hepatitis D virus; Lonafarnib; Mathematical modeling; Nucleic acid polymers; Pegylated-interferon-α; Pegylated-interferon-λ; Response-guided therapy.