In order to assess whether polyadenylic. polyuridylic acid [poly(A).poly(U)] can be used as a new therapeutic agent for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, 19 patients with histologically proven chronic active hepatitis B were injected intravenously with 100-150 mg of poly(A).poly(U) weekly for six weeks. Changes in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, 2′.5′-olidoadenylate synthetase (2.5′.5′-AS) activities and HBV markers were sequentially checked during and after treatments. Serum ALT levels were decreased gradually and 2′.5′-AS activities were significantly increased after initiation of poly(A).poly(U) injections. At the end of this trial (24th week) we have observed the normalizations of elevated ALT levels in 14 (73.7%), negative conversion of HBeAg in 11 (57.9%) and loss of HBV-DNA in 12 out of 19 patients (63.1%). Complete responses which had both normalization of ALT levels and negative conversion of HBeAg were noted in 11 patients (57.9%) and partial responses showing either normalization of ALT levels or negative conversion of HBeAg alone were in four out of 19 patients (21.1%). No notable adverse effects were observed during the treatments and follow-up period. It can be concluded that poly(A).poly(U) seems to be effective in the treatment of chronic active hepatitis B and has an advantage of being free of significant side effects.
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Acknowledgements -- This work was supported, partly, by the grant from Institut Henri Beaufour, Paris 7b, France. The authors would like to thank Professor Hyun-Sook Kim, Department of Clinical Pathology, Yonsei University for giving help in measuring HBV-DNA and Mr Eun-Sung Kim, Institute of Cheil Foods & Chemical's Inc., Research & Development Center, Korea, for mearuring 2'.5'-AS activities.
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