A potential cure for HBV

A potential cure for HBV

The opportunity

  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide
  • Currently there is no curative treatment regimen 
  • Targeting host cell factors preventing apoptosis of infected cells could lead to a sterilising cure

One third of the world’s population is infected with HBV, either as chronically infected patients (who currently require high-cost life-long treatments) or as HBV carriers without active disease (who currently require life-long clinical monitoring).

HBV causes liver cancer which is responsible for more than 780,000 deaths worldwide. Presently, there is no cure for HBV infection.


HBV ccle diagram


The technology

We have demonstrated that cellular inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (cIAPs) impair clearance of HBV by preventing TNF-mediated death of infected cells. We have shown that cells infected by HBV (both actively and latently) can can be preferentially targeted and cleared using inhibitors which antagonise cIAPs.

Our mechanistic studies demonstrate that viral clearance requires TNF-α and CD4+T cells.

Scientific diagram


Opportunities for partnership 

This is an opportunity to develop a curative treatment for HBV that targets host cell factors.

We have:

  • A granted patent for a method of treating intracellular infections via Smac mimetics approach.
  • Deep knowledge and expertise around Smac mimetic and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis proteins.
  • Preclinical expertise including a unique model able to detect integrated HBV and cccDNA.
  • Clinical expertise in HBV treatment and management; phase I and II trial design.

We are seeking a partner to:

  • Initiate co-development of novel composition of matter.
  • Collaborate or perform sponsored research that utilises our unique mouse models and expertise in targeting host cell factors for treatment of other diseases, for the benefit of a partner’s drug development program. 

Scientific team

Professor Marc Pellegrini, Infectious disease physician and Head, Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division 


Dr Anne-Laure Puaux, Head, Biotechnology and Commercialisation

Phone: +61 3 9345 2175 

Email: partnering@wehi.edu.au