Rationale for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Biopharmaceuticals in Inflammatory Diseases

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Abstract

Biopharmaceuticals bring together a number of specific characteristics as compared with other drugs. However, as it is done for most drugs, an individual adjustment of their dose may be necessary. Similar to “chemical” drugs, biopharmaceuticals used in immunoinflammatory diseases have a rather narrow therapeutic range, lack good early clinical or biological marker of response, have variable pharmacokinetics, and their serum concentrations are most often related with response. Monoclonal antibodies have additional specific sources of pharmacokinetic variability. Low concentrations may increase the risks of immunization, plasmapheresis may increase their elimination, and subcutaneous formulations may be associated with decreased adherence. For all these reasons, pharmacokinetic therapeutic drug monitoring may be useful. However, few randomized controlled therapeutic drug monitoring studies have been published. For monoclonal antibodies, a precise definition of the therapeutic concentrations is challenging because of the interindividual variability in their concentration–effect relationship.

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