Timeline of key events related to hepatitis B

The drug was originally developed by Gilead Sciences for the treatment of HIV. The drug works by blocking an enzyme, reverse transcriptase, the heptitis B virus needs to reproduce in the body. 2002-09-20T00:00:00+0000This included 6 member states that had policies for vaccinating adolescents. Of the 89 member states with historically high prevalences of chronic hepatitis B infection, 64 (72%) had adopted universal infant hepatitis B vaccination.2003-05-01T00:00:00+00002003-05-01T00:00:00+00002005-03-30T00:00:00+0000Hilleman, an American microbiologist, is credited with having saved more children's lives than any other medical scientist in the 20th century. He pioneered eight out of the fourteen vaccines routinely recommended for children today. This included the vaccines for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. Hilleman developed these vaccines as head of Merck & Co's virus and cell biology research department. 2005-04-11T00:00:00+00002005-05-13T00:00:00+00002006-10-25T00:00:00+00002007-01-01T00:00:00+0000June Almeida was a major pioneer of electron microscopy which helped transform knowledge about virology. She is best known for taking the first electron micrograph of the rubella virus and a human coronavirus. Her work also helped uncover the structure of the hepatitis B virus which paved the way to developing a vaccine against hepatitis B. She also published some of the first high quality images of HIV. 2007-12-01T00:00:00+0000The drug is also used to treat HIV.2008-08-11T00:00:00+0000Blumberg was an American physician and geneticist who won the Nobel Prize in 1976 for his discovery of a surface antigen for the hepatitis B virus. He found the antigen while conducting work on blood samples from different populations from around the world to understand genetic variations in susceptibility to disease. The antigen was first spotted testing a blood sample from a haemophiliac patient in New York against blood taken from a visiting Korean physician. Blumberg's discovery paved the way to the development of the first screen test for hepatitis B to prevent its spread in blood donations. His research also helped in the creation of the first vaccine against the disease, which to this day is the gold standard in the management of the disease.2011-04-05T00:00:00+0000The trials undertaken from 2013 used a drug that interferes with RNA. The drug was developed by Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. The aim of the drug is to reduce the surface antigens (HBsAg) created by chronic hepatitis B infections. The trials showed the experimental drug was safe and effective enough to be tested in people. The drug is designed to deliver a molecule to the liver where it binds to a receptor, and then another molecule, derived from bee venom, helps break through the membranes in the liver cells to deliver the medicine directly into the cells. The drug interferes with the the expression of the hepatitis B messager RNA that produces HBsAg. 2015-01-01T00:00:00+00002016-11-09T00:00:00+0000The company's shares fell from a high of $6.18 on November 8, 2016, to an $1.20 on December 21, 2016. 2016-11-09T00:00:00+00002017-08-01T00:00:00+0000World Hepatitis Alliance,' Study shows universal vaccination has wiped out hepatitis B and associated liver cancer in Alaska's young people', MedicalXpress, August 10 2017. The study was carried out by Brian McMahon and colleagues at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Hepatitis Program. The results was reported to the World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis in Anchorage, Alaska. 2017-08-08T00:00:00+0000The vaccine was developed by Dynavax2017-11-01T00:00:00+00002018-02-01T00:00:00+0000The aim of the drug is to mute hepatitis B genes to give the immune system a chance to fight the hepatitis B infection.2018-03-27T00:00:00+0000Developed by Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, the drug, ARC-520, is administered with the antiviral entecavir. The treatment cleared the HBsAg from one patient and substantially reduced it in the remaining patients. The results were presented to the European Association for the Study of the Liver. 2018-05-02T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
20 Sep 2002FDA approved adefovir, an antiviral drug, dipivoxil for treatment of chronic hepatitis B Gilead Sciences 
May 2003WHO recorded that 151 (79%) of 192 member states had adopted universal childhood hepatitis B vaccination programmes  Vaccine
May 2003GAVI/VF reported that 48 (64%) of poor countries eligible for their support had received funding to introduce hepatitits B vaccine  Vaccines, Infectious diseases
30 Mar 2005FDA approved entecavir, an antiviral drug, for treatment of chronic hepatitis B in adults and children under 2 years old   
11 Apr 2005Maurice Hilleman diedHillemanMerck & CoVaccines, Infectious diseases
13 May 2005FDA approved peginterferon alfa-2a, an antiviral drug, for patients with chronic hepatitis B who failed previous antiviral treatment Roche 
25 Oct 2006FDA approved telbivudine, an antiviral drug, for the treatment of hepatitis B infection Novartis, Idenix 
2007WHO reported that 71 (89%) of its 193 member states had initiated a hepatitis B vaccination programme  Vaccine
1 Dec 2007June Almeida diedAlmeidaHammersmith Postgraduate Medical SchoolVirology, Vaccines, Infectious diseases
11 Aug 2008FDA approved tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, an antiviral drug, to treat chronic hepatitis B Gilead Sciences 
5 Apr 2011Baruch S. Blumberg diedblumbergFox Chase Cancer Center, University of PennsylvaniaVaccines
2015Chimpanzee trials indicated that gene silencing drug could treat hepatitis B  Arrowhead PharmaceuticalsRNA interference
9 Nov 2016FDA halted phase II trials with RNA interference drug, ARC-520, due to multiple deaths of non-human primates treated with high doses Arrowhead PharmaceuticalsRNA interference
9 Nov 2016 - 21 Dec 2016Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares fell following hold on clinical trials with RNAi drug to treat hepatitis B Arrowhead PharmaceuticalsRNA interference
August 2017UK, one of the last countries in Europe, rolled out hepatitis B vaccination programme for infants  Vaccine
8 Aug 2017Universal hepatitis B vaccination introduced for all newborns in 1980s reported to have wiped out hepatitis B infection and associated liver cancer cases in Alaskan indigenous population  Vaccine
November 2017FDA approved a two-dose hepatitis B vaccine for use in adults aged 18 and over DynavaxVaccines, Infectious diseases
February 2018Hepatitis B Foundation Drug Watch listed 36 drugs at various development stages for chronic hepatitis B   
27 Mar 2018Dosing trial launched with humans to test use of RNA interference drug to treat hepatitis B Arrowhead PharmaceuticalsRNA interference
2 May 2018Positive results for RNAi drug for treating chronic hepatitis b reported from 8-person clinical trial Arrowhead PharmaceuticalsRNA interference

20 Sep 2002

FDA approved adefovir, an antiviral drug, dipivoxil for treatment of chronic hepatitis B

May 2003

WHO recorded that 151 (79%) of 192 member states had adopted universal childhood hepatitis B vaccination programmes

May 2003

GAVI/VF reported that 48 (64%) of poor countries eligible for their support had received funding to introduce hepatitits B vaccine

30 Mar 2005

FDA approved entecavir, an antiviral drug, for treatment of chronic hepatitis B in adults and children under 2 years old

11 Apr 2005

Maurice Hilleman died

13 May 2005

FDA approved peginterferon alfa-2a, an antiviral drug, for patients with chronic hepatitis B who failed previous antiviral treatment

25 Oct 2006

FDA approved telbivudine, an antiviral drug, for the treatment of hepatitis B infection

2007

WHO reported that 71 (89%) of its 193 member states had initiated a hepatitis B vaccination programme

1 Dec 2007

June Almeida died

11 Aug 2008

FDA approved tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, an antiviral drug, to treat chronic hepatitis B

5 Apr 2011

Baruch S. Blumberg died

2015

Chimpanzee trials indicated that gene silencing drug could treat hepatitis B

9 Nov 2016

FDA halted phase II trials with RNA interference drug, ARC-520, due to multiple deaths of non-human primates treated with high doses

9 Nov 2016 - 21 Dec 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares fell following hold on clinical trials with RNAi drug to treat hepatitis B

Aug 2017

UK, one of the last countries in Europe, rolled out hepatitis B vaccination programme for infants

8 Aug 2017

Universal hepatitis B vaccination introduced for all newborns in 1980s reported to have wiped out hepatitis B infection and associated liver cancer cases in Alaskan indigenous population

Nov 2017

FDA approved a two-dose hepatitis B vaccine for use in adults aged 18 and over

Feb 2018

Hepatitis B Foundation Drug Watch listed 36 drugs at various development stages for chronic hepatitis B

27 Mar 2018

Dosing trial launched with humans to test use of RNA interference drug to treat hepatitis B

2 May 2018

Positive results for RNAi drug for treating chronic hepatitis b reported from 8-person clinical trial

Respond to or comment on this page on our feeds on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.