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Biopharmaceuticals

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Oxytocin

Oxytocin (Oxt; ) is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide. Oxytocin is normally produced by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary. It plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction in both sexes, and during and after childbirth. Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream as a hormone in response to stretching of the cervix and uterus during labor and with stimulation of the nipples from breastfeeding. This helps with birth, bonding with the baby, and milk production. Oxytocin was discovered by Henry Dale in 1906. Its molecular structure was determined in 1952. Oxytocin is also used as a medication to facilitate childbirth.

 
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Vaccine

A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of the microorganisms associated with that agent that it may encounter in the future. Vaccines can be prophylactic, or therapeutic.

 
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Human chorionic gonadotropin

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the placenta after implantation. The presence of hCG is detected in some pregnancy tests. Some cancerous tumors produce this hormone; therefore, elevated levels measured when the patient is not pregnant may lead to a cancer diagnosis and, if high enough, paraneoplastic syndromes, however, it is not known whether this production is a contributing cause, or an effect of carcinogenesis. The pituitary analog of hCG, known as luteinizing hormone (LH), is produced in the pituitary gland of males and females of all ages.

 
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Adalimumab

Adalimumab, sold under the trade name Humira among others, is a medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, adalimumab has a response rate similar to methotrexate, and in combination, it nearly doubles the response rate of methotrexate alone.

 
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Rituximab

Rituximab, sold under the brand name Rituxan among others, is a medication used to treat certain autoimmune diseases and types of cancer. It is used for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, pemphigus vulgaris, myasthenia gravis and Epstein-Barr virus-positive mucocutaneous ulcers. It is given by slow injection into a vein.

 
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Pembrolizumab

Pembrolizumab is a humanized antibody used in cancer immunotherapy. It is an IgG4 isotype antibody that blocks a protective mechanism of cancer cells, and allows the immune system to destroy those cancer cells. It targets the programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) receptor of lymphocytes. The FDA initially approved it to treat metastatic melanoma. In 2017 the FDA approved it for any unresectable or metastatic solid tumor with certain genetic anomalies. It was the first time the FDA had approved a cancer drug based on tumor genetics rather than tissue type or tumor site.

 
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Follicle-stimulating hormone

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a gonadotropin, a glycoprotein polypeptide hormone. FSH is synthesized and secreted by the gonadotropic cells of the anterior pituitary gland, and regulates the development, growth, pubertal maturation, and reproductive processes of the body. FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH) work together in the reproductive system.

 
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Nivolumab

Nivolumab, marketed as Opdivo, is a medication used to treat cancer. It is used as a first line treatment for inoperable or metastatic melanoma in combination with ipilimumab if the cancer does not have a mutation in BRAF, as a second-line treatment following treatment with ipilimumab and if the cancer has a mutation in BRAF, with a BRAF inhibitor, as a second-line treatment for squamous non-small cell lung cancer, and as a second-line treatment for renal cell carcinoma.

 
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Adrenocorticotropic hormone

Adrenocorticotropic hormone is a polypeptide tropic hormone produced by and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It is also used as a medication and diagnostic agent.

 
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Infliximab

Infliximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody biologic drug that works against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and is used to treat autoimmune diseases. Infliximab was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is used off-label outside its FDA approval for Behçet's disease and other conditions. Infliximab is administered by intravenous infusion, typically at six- to eight-week intervals. It cannot be given by mouth because the digestive system would destroy the drug.

 
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Liraglutide

Liraglutide (NN2211) is a derivative of human incretin glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that is used as a long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, binding to the same receptors as does the endogenous metabolic hormone GLP-1 that stimulates insulin secretion. Marketed under the brand name Victoza, it is an injectable drug developed by Novo Nordisk for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In 2015, Novo Nordisk began marketing a separate strength in the U.S. and E.U. under the brand name Saxenda as a treatment for adults who are obese or overweight with at least one weight-related comorbid condition.

 
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Bevacizumab

Bevacizumab, sold under the trade name Avastin, is a medication used to treat a number of types of cancers and a specific eye disease. For cancer it is given by slow injection into a vein and used for colon cancer, lung cancer, glioblastoma, and renal-cell carcinoma. For age-related macular degeneration it is given by injection into the eye.

 
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Denosumab

Denosumab is a human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of osteoporosis, treatment-induced bone loss, metastases to bone, and giant cell tumor of bone.

 
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Trastuzumab

Trastuzumab, sold under the brand name Herceptin among others, is a monoclonal antibody used to treat breast cancer. Specifically it is used for breast cancer that is HER2 receptor positive. It may be used by itself or together with other chemotherapy medication. Trastuzumab is given by slow injection into a vein and injection just under the skin.

 
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Leuprorelin

Leuprorelin, also known as leuprolide, is a manufactured version of a hormone used to treat prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and early puberty. It is given by injection into a muscle or under the skin.