HORSHAM, Pa. Remicade, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, has become the first anti-TNF biologic therapy to treat one million patients worldwide, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
TNF-alpha is a naturally occurring protein produced by the body’s immune system to fight infections. Remicade is a monoclonal antibody engineered to inhibit TNF-alpha. Monoclonal antibodies are engineered in a laboratory to target specific antigens, or substances that cause an immune response, responsible for a disease.
The drug is currently approved for 15 inflammatory disease indications including psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and ankylosing spondylitis. Remicade, which generated sales of $3.77 billion last year, is approved in 88 countries.