No Entry – Lipopeptide Blocks Spreading of Hepatitis-B-Virus

16 January 2013
Scientists in Professor Maura Dandri`s group developed a new therapeutic strategy that has the potential to substantially improve treatment outcome of patients with chronic Hepatitis-B-Virus-infections. The new secret weapon is a lipopeptide named „Myrcludex-B“. It prevents spreading of Hepatitis-B-Virus in the infected liver.
More than 350 million people are chronically infected with Hepatitis-B-Virus (HBV) worldwide. In every fourth patient the initial liver inflammation turns into liver cirrhosis or liver cell cancer, which can both be lethal. At the moment only a minority of the patients can be cured. „We already knew from experiments that were conducted in cooperation with professor Stephan Urban form the University of Heidelberg that Myrcludex-B can prevent de-novo-infections of primary human liver cells with HBV: Now we demonstrate, that it can also block the dissemi-nation of the virus when the liver is already infected with HBV“, explains Professor Maura Dandri, who leads a project in the Collaborative Research Centre 841 “Liver inflammation: infection, immune regulation and consequences”. The results are published in the Journal of Hepatology.