Test for Hepatitis B Provides More Tailored Solutions for
-- February 23, 2011 -- The new hepatitis B surface antigen
(HBsAg) quant test enables physicians to assess a patient's
response to chronic hepatitis B treatment
As chronic hepatitis B remains endemic in many parts of
Asia, experts from across the region are meeting at the
21st Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver
(APASL) annual congress in Bangkok, Thailand to discuss
advances in the management of this devastating disease,
which is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
key advance is the availability of a new quantitative test
for monitoring a patient's response to hepatitis B therapy,
launched during the congress by Roche Diagnostics. The test
measures the amount of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg),
a marker on the surface of the hepatitis B virus, in a patient's
blood. This, in combination with HBV DNA testing, enables
clinicians to provide tailored treatment approaches for
chronic hepatitis B patients.
"Testing is important for the diagnosis and improved
management of chronic hepatitis B. All too often there are
either no symptoms until the liver is severely damaged or
the early symptoms are ignored, allowing the disease to
progress untreated with potentially fatal consequences,"
said Professor Teerha Piratvisuth, President of APASL, Director
of the NKC Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology,
Thailand, and President of Liver Society of Thailand. "This
is a significant problem in Thailand where less than 30
percent of people with chronic hepatitis B are currently
being treated and most do not even know they are infected."
Almost a third of the world's population is, at some time,
infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and approximately
350 million people (5%) are currently chronically infected.
In Asia, up to 10 percent of the adult population is chronically
infected with the disease. Every year, 25% to 45% of these
HBV carriers die of HBV-related liver cirrhosis (permanent
scarring) or liver cancer. Liver cancer is one of the leading
causes of cancer death, particularly in Asia.
Treatment for chronic hepatitis B aims for complete clearance
of the HBsAg in the patient. Recent data has shown that
HBsAg clearance is associated with reduced disease progression
to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, and improved life expectancy
as well as quality of life due to the immune control of
the virus and remission of viral activity.
HBsAg quantitative testing represents a simple and reliable
means of assessing how well the body's own immune system
is combating the hepatitis B virus. It allows clinicians
to monitor and assess a patient's response to pegylated
interferon (PEG-IFN) therapy, thereby confidently predict
sustained treatment success early. This is particularly
important as studies show that one in three respond to the
PEG-IFN treatment. In addition, there is evidence that HBsAg
levels in combination with HBV DNA levels, can be used to
distinguish patients who do not require therapy (inactive
carriers) from those who would benefit from treatment.
"We now have two complementary tests for monitoring
chronic hepatitis B that, when used in combination, enables
us to determine how well a patient is responding to treatment
and to tailor it accordingly" said Professor Henry
Chan, Professor of Medicine, Director of Cheng Suen Man
Shook Centre for Hepatitis Research and Director of Centre
for Liver Health of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
"This is a real advance in the management of chronic
hepatitis B as it enables us to respond quicker than we
previously could and, by doing so, reduce the chance of
Commenting on the advance, Mr. Pichetpong Srisuwankul, General
Manager of Roche Diagnostics Thailand said; "Given
the millions of lives affected by hepatitis B each year,
Roche is proud to be able to make a real difference in tackling
all aspects of managing the disease; from initial diagnosis,
through to treatment and ongoing treatment monitoring. Furthermore,
this is an area where, once again, Roche is facilitating
healthcare professionals in providing tailored treatments
to individual patients to significantly improve their health
and wellbeing, a demonstration of Roche leading in Personalized
About the Elecsys HBsAg II Quant
What is the Elecsys HBsAg II quant immunoassay?
Elecsys HBsAg II quant immunoassay is a new test for
assessing the amount of the hepatitis B surface antigen
(HBsAg) in chronic hepatitis B patients.
Elecsys HBsAg II quant immunoassay is optimized for
clinical decision making.
What is the role of HBsAg testing?
quantitative testing represents a simple and reliable
means of assessing how well the body's own immune
system is combating the hepatitis B virus.
HBsAg quant testing, clinicians can monitor and assess
patients' response to anti-viral therapy. This allows
clinicians to predict treatment success early during
pegylated-interferon (PEG-IFN) treatment.
data has shown that HBsAg clearance is associated
with greatly reduced liver cancer, liver cirrhosis
and improved life expectancy due to the immune control
of the virus and its remission.
HBsAg testing can also aid in identifying long-term
treatment outcomes in patients.
DNA is currently the most widely used diagnostic test
in chronic hepatitis B patients.
used of HBV DNA and HBsAg quantification tests enable
clinicians to tailor therapy options for optimal treatment
outcomes in patients.
is evidence that HBsAg levels in combination with
HBV DNA levels, can be used to distinguish patients
who do not require therapy (inactive carriers) from
those who would benefit from treatment.
are the advantages of the Elecsys® HBsAg II quant immunoassay?
The Elecsys HBsAg II quant immunoassay
is optimized for clinical decision making and has the following
convenience -- The Elecsys HBsAg II quant immunoassay
has been optimized to reduce retesting through automated
features such as onboard dilution.
reliability -- The Elecsys HBsAg II quant immunoassay
is traceable to the WHO second international standard
for HBsAg and offers accurate and validated exact
results as well as enhanced safety through the onboard
dilution feature. It is also suitable for quantifying
HBsAg samples with all major hepatitis B genotypes.
precision -- The Elecsys HBsAg II quant immunoassay
offers excellent precision across the entire measure
in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused
healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and
diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company
with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology,
inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world
leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics
and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalised
healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic
tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality
of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over
80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss
francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion
Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned
member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in
Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.
Roche Diagnostics. New Test for Hepatitis B Provides More
Tailored Solutions for Patients. Press release. February