Vaccines are used not only to prevent infectious diseases but also to treat them.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), which spreads through blood and bodily fluids. It causes either acute Hepatitis B, where the infection is temporary, or chronic Hepatitis B, where the infection persists for a lifetime. Although treatments such as interferon therapy and nucleic acid analogues are used for chronic Hepatitis B, eradicating HBV completely from the body remains challenging with current medical technology.
For these reasons, therapeutic vaccines using HBV proteins as antigens have been perceived as promising alternatives to interferon and nucleic acid analogue treatments. However, creating effective vaccine antigens that can eliminate HBV completely needs extensive research, including identifying which protein components of HBV induce strong immune responses and which antigens should be administered to patients with specific Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) types.
In collaboration with NEC Corporation and NEC OncoImmunity AS, SHIONOGI is leveraging AI technology to rapidly identify effective vaccine antigens with the aim of developing a therapeutic vaccine for chronic Hepatitis B.