Liver Research Center, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
Telbivudine, one of the oral anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) nucleoside analogues, has been used for more than 5 years to treat HBeAg-positive and -negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. This includes not only global Phase II and III trials, but also Chinese Phase III trials and several real-world clinical practice studies from China. The present review will first focus on 1-, 2- and 3-year data of telbivudine therapy on HBV DNA suppression, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization, hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion, viral resistance and safety in HBeAg-positive and -negative CHB patients. Second, telbivudine treatment predictors, including HBV DNA undetectability, ALT level and other immune-related markers at 12 and 24 weeks will be summarized to optimize therapy. Besides several retrospective studies, the Chinese EFFORT prospective study adapted from telbivudine virological response at 24 weeks has shown very promising results. Finally, the Chinese experience of using telbivudine in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy to prevent perinatal transmission of HBV infection will be touched on citing the latest studies.