Bulevirtide with or without pegIFNα for patients with compensated chronic hepatitis delta: From clinical trials to real-world studies

J Hepatol. 2022 Nov;77(5):1422-1430. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2022.06.010. Epub 2022 Jun 22.


Chronic hepatitis D (CHD) is the most severe form of viral hepatitis, characterised by the greatest increase in risk of cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation and hepatocellular carcinoma. Pegylated-interferon-α (pegIFNα), the only off-label therapeutic option, has been available for the last 30 years but is associated with suboptimal response rates and poor tolerability. Among the new treatment strategies under clinical evaluation, the entry inhibitor bulevirtide (BLV) is the only one that has received conditional approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA); approval was granted in July 2020 for the treatment of adult patients with compensated CHD at a dose of 2 mg daily. Phase II studies and the week 24 interim analysis of a phase III study demonstrated the efficacy and safety of this treatment as a monotherapy or combined with pegIFNα. This favourable profile has been confirmed by recent real-world studies performed in Europe. As a long-term monotherapy, BLV has been successfully used to treat patients with advanced compensated cirrhosis. These encouraging yet preliminary findings must be viewed with caution as many critical issues related to this new antiviral strategy are still poorly understood, as summarised in this review. While waiting for new anti-HBV and anti-HDV drugs to become available for combination studies, BLV treatment is currently the only available anti-HDV therapeutic option that might improve the long-term prognosis of difficult-to-manage patients with CHD.

Keywords: Bulevirtide; Entry inhibitor; HDV; HDV RNA; HDV ribonucleic acid; chronic hepatits Delta; clinically significant portal hypertension; combined response; compensated cirrhosis; hepatitis D virus; virological response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents* / adverse effects
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / adverse effects
  • Hepatitis D, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis Delta Virus
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Lipopeptides* / adverse effects
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use


  • Antiviral Agents
  • bulevirtide
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Lipopeptides
  • Polyethylene Glycols