Eli5 Biologic medications like Remicade or Humira


How are these medications made? Also, how do they treat autoimmune diseases?

In: 2

remicade and humira are both tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) blockers, they primarily differ in how they are administered (remicade is iv every 1-2 months, humira is self injected via a prefilled ‘pen’ every 1-2 weeks)

they are large molecules that competitively bind the TNFa receptor, preventing initiation of the TNFa inflammatory cascade which is important in diseases like crohn’s and others which have significant autoimmune inflammatory components (hence the benefit to blocking a piece of the immune systems overly activated signals).

while the process to manufacture biologics is a bit more complex than typical chemical compounds because they are large, biologically active molecules, they are made in industrial manufacturing labs like any other drug.