The FDA has approved the first nucleic acid HBV viral DNA test for measuring HBV viral load from a patient’s blood. Via HBV viral load assessment, healthcare professionals now have a highly sensitive method for gauging antiviral therapy progress in patients with chronic HBV infections.
The test is known as the COBAS TaqMan HBV Test (Roche Diagnostic Division). It is used to measure HBV levels before beginning treatment, and then follow-up levels during treatment to assess therapy response. It is estimated that approximately 1.25 million people in the U.S. are infected with HBV, with approximately 60,000 becoming infected each year. About 5,000 people die from HBV-related complications each year.8