I’m not a scientist but it does not look like “success” as claimed in the title. Starting HBsAg was < 100 IU and interferon was used for some period as well… It looks like worse result than interferon alone for 48 weeks in group with such promising low HBsAg.
@sorte you have hit the nail on the head.
This is the problem with headlines like this. We don’t have all the details yet but the baseline levels of HBsAg in patients in this trial were allowed to be very low. In this setting, both the immunostimulatory properties of RNAi and of pegIFN will be much more active than in the average patient with chronic HBV, which has HBsAg ~ 10,000 IU/mL.
Published data in patients with HBsAg << 1000 IU/mL indicates that HBsAg loss (not < 100 IU/mL) is achieved in up to 30% of patients with pegIFN.