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Interferons are a group of signaling proteins made and released by host cells as a defensive response to virus infection. In a typical scenario, a virus-infected cell will release interferons causing nearby cells to heighten their anti-viral defenses to inhibit viral replication. Currently, several anti-TNF biosimilars are available for use in patients with psoriasis. Because of its broad spectrum of applications, innovative interferon products and biosimilar or biobetter versions will continue to emerge.

A sketch is presented to illustrate the mechanism by which interferons fend off virus infection. Three types of interferons are introduced, Type I (alpha and beta), Type II (gamma) and Type III (lamda). They are indicated for a wide spectrum of disease conditions, including cancer, viral infection (hepatitis) and muscular-skeletal disorder (multiple sclerosis). Two original interferon products are included, Roferon (interferon alfa-2a), and Betaseron (interferon beta-1b). There are numerous approved interferon alfa and interferon beta products worldwide, and a good number of biobetters are in the development pipeline.

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Pharmacotherapy: Understanding Biotechnology Products

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