Efficacy and safety of an intravenous monoclonal anti-HBs in chronic hepatitis B patients


  • on behalf of an International Study Group

Robert A. de Man, Room Ca 326, Dept. of Hepatology & Gastroenterology, University Hospital Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Tel. 31 10 463 3793. Fax: 31 10 436 5916.
e-mail: devlaming@mdl.azr.nl


Abstract:Background/Aims: In this study the safety and efficacy of a monoclonal anti-HBs, Tuvirumab (Mab), were investigated. Tuvirumab is a human monoclonal antibody recognizing the stable ‘a’-determinant of the HBsAg. Methods: We included ten chronic hepatitis B patients: four received monotherapy, and six combination therapy with interferon alpha 2b. Results: Because the development of insoluble [HBsAg–HBsAb] complexes led to adverse events, the Mab dose had to be reduced in seven patients. In nine patients treatment was stopped prematurely because of lack of efficacy, i.e. neutralization of HBsAg in serum. However, temporary HBsAg levels were reduced by at least 50% in all patients; in three patients receiving combination therapy, background levels of HBsAg in serum were reached. A loss of serum HBV-DNA was seen in three patients in the combination group, followed by HBeAg seroconversion in two patients. Conclusions: We conclude that Mab was not effective in achieving primary efficacy as assessed by neutralization of circulating HBsAg. Whether a combination of Mab with an antiviral agent that reduces the HBsAg load – and therefore minimizes the risk of adverse events – may result in clinical efficacy should be investigated.