Treatment of chronic hepatitis D with peginterferon lambda-the phase 2 LIMT-1 clinical trial

Hepatology. 2023 Jun 1;77(6):2093-2103. doi: 10.1097/HEP.0000000000000309. Epub 2023 Feb 20.


Background and aims: HDV infection leads to the most aggressive form of human viral hepatitis for which there is no FDA-approved therapy. PEG IFN-lambda-1a (Lambda) has previously demonstrated a good tolerability profile in HBV and HCV patients compared to PEG IFN-alfa. The goal of Phase 2 LIMT-1 trial was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Lambda monotherapy in patients with HDV.

Approach and results: An open-label study of Lambda 120 or 180 mcg, administered once weekly by subcutaneous injections for 48 weeks, followed by 24 weeks of posttreatment follow-up. Thirty-three patients were allocated to Lambda 180 mcg (n=14) or 120 mcg (n=19). Baseline mean values: HDV RNA 4.1 log10 IU/mL (SD±1.4); ALT 106 IU/L (35-364); and bilirubin 0.5 mg/dL (0.2-1.2). Intention-to-treat rates of virologic response to Lambda 180 mcg and 120 mcg, 24 weeks following treatment cessation were 5 of 14(36%) and 3 of 19 (16%), respectively. The posttreatment response rate of 50% was seen in low BL viral load (≤4 log10) on 180 mcg. Common on-treatment adverse events included flu-like symptoms and elevated transaminase levels. Eight (24%) cases of hyperbilirubinemia with or without liver enzyme elevation, leading to drug discontinuation, were mainly observed in the Pakistani cohort. The clinical course was uneventful, and all responded favorably to dose reduction or discontinuation.

Conclusions: Treatment with Lambda in patients with chronic HDV may result in virologic response during and following treatment cessation. Clinical phase 3 development of Lambda for this rare and serious disease is ongoing.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents* / adverse effects
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Hepatitis D, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hyperbilirubinemia / chemically induced
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Polyethylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Recombinant Proteins / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Interleukins
  • Recombinant Proteins