SGLT2i to Prevent of Liver Complications in Patients With CHB and Diabetes Mellitus

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The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Status and phase

Phase 4


Chronic Hepatitis B


Drug: Placebo 10mg Tab
Drug: Dapagliflozin 10mg Tab

Study type


Funder types



SGLT2i_HBV Study

Details and patient eligibility


This is a five-year, double blinded, randomised trial of dapagliflozin versus placebo in patients with chronic hepatitis B and DM or IFG complicated with compensated advanced chronic liver disease (cACLD). 412 subjects will be recruited. Subject will be randomly assigned to receive dapagliflozin 10mg daily or dapagliflozin placebo one tablet daily for up to 5 years. After randomization, subject will be followed up at month 3, month 6 and then 6-monthly until 60 months (follow up ± 4 weeks from scheduled clinic visit is allowed). At each visit, drug compliance, physical examination, observed or reported adverse events will be assessed. 10ml of blood will be taken at each visit and transient elastography to assess fibrosis regression will be performed at 60th month or at withdrawal visit. You are discouraged to use (pegylated)-interferon, any other NA including lamivudine, adefovir, and telbivudine, another SGLT2i Empagliflozin (Jardiance), Dapagliflozin + Metformin XR (Xigduo).

Full description

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global health problem affecting approximately 234 million people worldwide; of those three-quarter come from the Asia-Pacific region.1 Up to 30%-40% of chronically infected persons will die of liver complications, including liver cancer and cirrhotic complications.2 The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 revealed HBV as one of the top ten killers worldwide.3 Chronic HBV infection also represents a major global economic burden; with increasing socioeconomic costs.4 Majority of the liver complications and deaths is related to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) because of its high incidence rate and unfavourable clinical course.5 Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) is a potent antidiabetic agent that lowers blood glucose by inducing renal glycosuria.15 SGLT2i reduces cardiovascular and renal events by marked cardiac anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects,16 on top of dramatic weight reduction.6 A recent open-label, pilot study of nine patients with biopsy-proven non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with type 2 DM received a SGLT2i (empagliflozin) 25 mg daily, for 24 weeks. SGLT2i led to histological improvement in steatosis, ballooning, and fibrosis, compared with historical placebo.7 SGLT2i also leads to more significant reduction of ALT.8 Several other randomised trials and cohort studies supported that SGLT2i also reduces liver fat content and liver fibrosis scores. SGLT2i has additional benefits on liver histology compared to other antidiabetic agents.8 The key pathways include control of hepatic inflammation and fibrosis, improvement of insulin resistance, and reduction of hepatic steatosis. The related mechanisms involve inflammatory parameters like high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, proinflammatory cytokines like interleukin-6 or TNF-alpha, reactive oxygen species and the inhibition of AMPc activation. The improvement was correlated with reductions in body weight, waist circumference and inflammatory parameters. The improvement was not correlated with changes in glucose control.9 All these favourable effects on liver have make it potentially useful to reduce liver complications. Chronic hepatitis B is major cause of liver complications and death. Antiviral treatment with oral nucleos(t)ide analogues reduces but not abolish the risk of liver complications, especially in those with diabetes mellitus. Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are promising in improving liver outcome in patients with chronic hepatitis B and diabetes mellitus. Our preliminary data provide strong plausibility that SGLT2i reduces the risk of liver complications. We are going to provide the definitive answer to this important clinical question through a randomised trial.


412 estimated patients




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Patients with chronic hepatitis B on ETV, TDF or TAF monotherapy for at least 12 months.
  • Known or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), defined as HbA1c ≥5.7% or fasting blood sugar ≥5.6 mmol/L, or random blood sugar ≥11.1 mmol/L, or 2 hours sugar after oral glucose tolerance test ≥7.8 mmol/L.
  • Stable use of anti-diabetic drugs in the last three months.
  • Presence of compensated advanced chronic liver disease (cACLD) with liver stiffness measurement >10.0 kPa, or significant portal hypertension (spleen stiffness measurement > 41.3 kPa), or presence any sign of portal hypertension (e.g. splenomegaly, ascites, varices)
  • Aged 18 years old or above.
  • Written informed consent obtained.

Exclusion criteria

  • Patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as indicated by a positive antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) serology test.
  • Patients with history of cirrhotic complications or hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Patients with organ transplantation
  • Patients receiving a SGLT2i
  • Contraindications to SGLT2i due to renal insufficiency (GFR < 45 mL/min/1.73m2)
  • Poor glycaemic control with HbA1c >9.0%
  • Use of multiple anti-diabetic drugs (3 or more)
  • Change in anti-diabetic drugs in the last three months.
  • Serious medical illnesses or malignancy
  • Age < 18 years
  • No patient consents

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Quadruple Blind

412 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

Active Comparator group
10mg QD for 60 months
Drug: Dapagliflozin 10mg Tab
Placebo Comparator group
10mg QD for 60 months
Drug: Placebo 10mg Tab

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Grace LH Wong, MD; Angel ML Chim, MSc

Data sourced from

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