Delta hepatitis: a serious and unknown viral infection in France

Delta hepatitis: serious viral infection unknown in France editions MyPharma

Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2022

On the occasion of the EASL (European Association for the Study of the Liver) conference, taking place from June 22-26, Gilead Sciences presents the latest clinical data from the MYR301 therapeutic trial and the results of a real-life study using the French cohort in the treatment of delta hepatitis.

Delta hepatitis virus (HDV) infection is the most severe form of chronic viral hepatitis. Until September 2020, approved treatment options were not available in France. Thanks to the availability of polyferretide (Hepcludex®, an HDV entry inhibitor), as part of the Post-Tentative Authorization for Use (ATU) regimen, French patients were among the first to benefit from an effective and well-approved treatment in Europe. Polyvertide now represents new hope in the treatment of delta hepatitis.

Delta hepatitis, a misunderstood disease still under diagnosis

The peculiarity of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is that it can infect only patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) 1. In France, the proportion of hepatitis B patients who can be infected with HDV is estimated at 5%. But this figure may have been underestimated, due to the lack of systematic examination2.
Delta hepatitis is often silent and asymptomatic, however it is an acute, rapidly progressing disease. In fact, the majority of patients are at risk of developing cirrhosis at 5 years and hepatocellular carcinoma at 10 years on average 3. Regular screening of all patients with HBs antigen is recommended by the AFEF (French Association for the Study of the Liver).

“There is a real public health problem in France related to the diagnosis of delta hepatitis: only 1,500 patients have been identified, while 5,000 will be affected 4. Official recommendations encourage detection of hepatitis C in all patients present for hepatitis B infection. We are committed to contributing to the improvement of Take care of the patients concerned, because we have an effective and well-tolerated treatment against this infection.pathology.Cecil Rabiean, Medical Director, Gilead France.

Epidemiology: a major issue for awareness and screening

Some populations at risk for delta hepatitis are difficult to reach and monitor. Indeed, features of particular interest in VHD are: immigrant populations, injection drug users (IDU), men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who have sex with a partner infected with HBV and HDV2.

It should be noted that migration from countries with high prevalence of HDV to countries with low prevalence can have an impact on the epidemiology of the host country.
In France, HDV infection is mainly associated with patients from countries with high or medium endemicity (Sub-Saharan Africa, southern and eastern Europe) living in France.

Mode of transmission similar to that of hepatitis B

Hepatitis B, such as hepatitis B, is transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusion (contact with blood, wounding an infected person, sharing injection needles, exposure to sharp or contaminated objects) and transmission from mother to child.

France, a leader in the treatment of hepatitis D together with Gilead

Thanks to Hepcludex® (bulevirtide), the first and only treatment authorized for the treatment of decompensated chronic delta hepatitis, France is the number one country in terms of the number of patients treated, ahead of Germany, Austria and more recently Italy and Greece.

Strongly committed, since the 2000s, to the fight against hepatitis B, with the provision of Hespera and Viread and then against hepatitis C, with 4 direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), today Gilead continues its commitment to the management of delta viral hepatitis with the latest acquisition of MYR GmbH, which has a conditional marketing authorization (MA) for Hepcludex® (bulevirtide), the first and only authorized treatment in the treatment of chronic hepatitis delta delta


1 World Health Organization. Hepatitis D fact sheet is available on the website
2 authentic v. Delta hepatitis: state of knowledge and new therapeutic perspectives available on
3 Miao Zed et al. Estimating the global prevalence, disease progression, and clinical outcome of delta hepatitis
Viral infection. J Infect Dis 2020; 221: 1677–87
4 DELTAVER or Godien are studying infection with the hepatitis C virus. French data BEH 19-20 June 2015
5 Delta hepatitis: epidemiology, diagnosis, natural history and treatment Delta hepatitis: epidemiology,
Diagnosis, natural history and treatment D. Loureiro, C. Castelnau, CMBed, T. Asselah
6 Center for Disease Control. Hepatitis D questions and answers for health professionals. Available at: Consulted on 03
May 22

Source and visual: Gilead Sciences

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