Study says Telbivudine may stop transmission of hepatitis B to infants

The results of a recent study showed the drug Telbivudine stopped the transmission of hepatitis B to infants.

Dr. Calvin Pan, one of the study’s investigators, told Rillara.com that the drug was given to women in their second or third trimester to achieve this result.

“This has a very powerful impact in the field, as hepatitis B is difficult to eradicate and currently there is no treatment modality that can cure the disease,” Pan told Rillara.com

Pan said that the study’s test subjects were administered 600 milligrams of Telbivudine daily. At birth, the infants were given hepatitis B vaccine doses. Pan said that only four percent of the infants had hepatitis B at the conclusion of the study.

When the infants were examined at 28 weeks after birth, none of them manifested any congenital deformities. The health of their mothers was similar to those of the control group, according to Pan.

Pan told Rillara.com that he was very pleased with the result. Pan also noted that efforts in preventing the transmission of the disease from mothers to infants should be increased. Even with the reassuring results, though, Pan noted that more research is needed and that long-term data also still needed to be collected.

Pan's study, entitled “A Prospective and Open-Label Study for the Efficacy and Safety of Telbivudine(Ltd) in Pregnancy for the Prevention of Perinatal Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) to the Infants,” was recently presented to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Boston, Mass.