Monday 11 June 2007
Definition: Infliximab (Remicade) is an antibody that blocks the effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha or TNFA). Infliximab is administered by intervenous infusion.
There are two other injectable drugs that block TNF alpha—adalimumab(Humira) and etanercept (Enbrel). TNF is a substance made by cells of the body which has an important role in promoting inflammation.
Specifically, infliximab is used for treating the inflammation of Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis.
By blocking the action of TNF-alpha, infliximab reduces the signs and symptoms of inflammation. Infliximab does not cure Crohn’s disease, psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis; however, preliminary studies have demonstrated that infliximab can retard the destruction of joints by rheumatoid arthritis.
Other antibodies targeting TNFα
Other monoclonal antibodies targeting TNFα are:
certolizumab pegol (Cimzia).
Etanercept also binds and inhibits the action of TNFα but is not a monoclonal antibody (it is instead a fusion of TNF-receptor and an antibody constant region).