Skip main navigation

How is Adalimumab used?

Short description
Adalimumab, commonly known by its brand name Humira, is a medication used to treat several autoimmune conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Uveitis1234

It is a monoclonal antibody that inactivates tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα), a protein involved in causing inflammation. By targeting TNFα, it helps reduce inflammation and manage symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions. Clinical data demonstrate that Adalimumab helps reduce inflammation, pain, and joint damage associated with RA, althought It may take several weeks to notice significant improvement.

Adalimumab is administered via subcutaneous injection (under the skin), typically self-administered by the patient or a caregiver. The dosing frequency varies but is usually once every 1 to 2 weeks. The appropriate dosing schedule will be based on specific patient’s condition and response to treatment.

Together, let’s find out more about therapeutic antibodies and their smaller counterparts, antibody fragments.

1. Therapeutic Antibodies

  • These are immune system proteins designed to target specific molecules in the body. They play a crucial role in treating various diseases.
  • Selectivity: The key is their selectivity for tumor cells over healthy tissue. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are commonly used in this context.
  • Application: Therapeutic antibodies are used both for diagnosis and treatment. Examples include antibodies and antibody–drug conjugates applied successfully in the treatment of solid tumors and lymphomas.

2. Antibody Fragments

  • These are smaller pieces derived from monoclonal antibodies.
  • Purpose: Fragment antibodies serve as mighty tools to fight disease. While full mAbs are around 150 kDa in size, fragment antibodies can be as small as 3 kDa.
  • Advantages:
    • Improved Penetration: Smaller fragments enhance tumor uptake and intratumoral distribution by overcoming barriers within the tumor.
    • Challenges: However, they may be rapidly cleared from the body and sometimes exhibit reduced binding affinity.

Antibody fragments

Author: Laura Acquasaliente

© University of Padova
This article is from the free online

Getting to Know Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies: More than Science in a Lab

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now