Basic Pharmacology

Etanercept is a recombinant fusion protein produced in Chinese hamster ovary cells. It consists of the intracel-lular ligand-binding portion of the human p75 TNF receptor linked to the Fc portion of human immunoglobulin (Ig) G1. Two p75 molecules are attached to each Fc molecule. Etanercept binds to soluble TNF-a and TNF-(3 and forms inactive complexes, effectively lowering circulating levels of these cytokines. It is administered subcutaneously, generally twice weekly.

Infliximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody targeted against TNF-a. It consists of a human IgG1 Fc heavy chain and partial K-light chain fused to a murine hypervariable region. Infliximab binds to both soluble and transmembrane forms of TNF-a and inhibits their ability to bind to TNF receptors. It does not inhibit TNF-p, which binds to the same receptors as TNF-a. Infliximab is administered intravenously, usually at 4- to 8-week intervals.

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