Monday 2 January 2012
Definition: Eculizumab (Soliris) is a monoclonal antibody directed against the complement protein C5.
Eculizumab has been shown to be effective in treating paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare and sometimes life threatening disease of the blood, and is approved for this indication.
Eculizumab is a recombinant humanized monoclonal IgG2/4 antibody that specifically binds to the complement protein C5, inhibiting its cleavage by the C5 convertase which prevents the generation of the terminal complement complex C5b-9. It is this terminal complement complex that causes intravascular hemolysis in people with (PNH).
Eculizumab is a product of Alexion Pharmaceuticals and was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 16, 2007 and the European Medicines Agency on June 20, 2007.
According to Forbes magazine, Soliris, at $409,500 a year, is the world’s single most expensive drug.