We have initiated prospective clinical trials investigating a structured treatment termination of direct acting antiviral nucleos(t)ide analogues (NA) in patients with chronic hepatitis B before they achieve functional cure (HBsAg loss). The results of the first trial was pivotal for the concept that stopping NA therapy and subsequent HBV DNA rebound may induce immune responses which could promote later HBsAg loss, the equivalent of functional cure. In addition, we could also contribute to the discussion that stopping entecavir or tenofovir therapy result in different kinetics of HBV DNA rebound. These results will now lead to further research projects. The second Stop-NA study has been initiated in 2018. Now, the research group investigates detailed aspects of innate and adaptive immune responses after structured cessation of NA treatment.
Funding: DZIF, RESIST
Our research lab started to work on the development of a T cell receptor-based treatment approach for chronic hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection. We have characterized immune responses in patients with acute and chronic hepatitis E and identified HEV-specific T cell receptors. In collaboration with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm we have redirected these TCRs into donor lymphocytes. We have characterized the redirected TCRs and could show immunogenicity in-vitro. It is now planned to further test the TCRs in a mouse model.
Funding: DZIF, DFG