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The Lock and Key of MedicineMonoclonal Antibodies and the Transformation of Healthcare$
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Lara V Marks

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300167733

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300167733.001.0001

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A Quiet Revolution

A Quiet Revolution

The Legacy of Monoclonal Antibodies

(p.218) Chapter Ten A Quiet Revolution
The Lock and Key of Medicine

Lara V. Marks

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses legacy of monoclonal antibodies (Mabs). Mab therapeutics are some of the best-selling drugs in the world today. As of 2012 there were over thirty Mab drugs on the world market. Of these, ten had achieved blockbuster status, generating profits of more than $1 billion. These included three marketed for cancer by the Roche Group: bevacizumab (Avastin), rituximab (Rituxan), and trastuzumab (Herceptin), which collectively raised $17 billion in annual revenue in 2009. Mabs have helped advance cancer research and treatment; transformed the management of autoimmune disorders; provided a major tool for understanding the onset and progression of autoimmune diseases and revealed new therapeutic possibilities; and facilitated a paradigm shift in the treatment of autoimmune diseases away from just treating symptoms to targeting and preventing their cause. Mabs were also instrumental historically in the identification and utilization of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), immature cells found in bone marrow, to improve the treatment of leukemia.

Keywords:   Mabs, monoclonal antibodies, Mab drugs, Mab therapeutics, autoimmune disorders, cancer treatment, stem cells, leukemias

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