Efficacy and safety of biologicals against immune-mediated diseases: Do benefits outweigh risks?

Liudmila Korkina, P. Trakhtman, C. De Luca, L. Leoni, D. Raskovic, S. Pastore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The success of molecular biology in identifying molecular pathways underlying chronic immune-mediated diseases and the rapid development of gene/cell engineering biotechnologies has resulted in the development of a number of targeted biological drugs, which have revolutionized the therapy of these diseases. Numerous data published over the last 10-15 years demonstrate a dramatic improvement in the clinical efficacy of biologics compared with conventional drugs. However, professional and public concern about serious biological drug-associated adverse events has also been growing steadily. We critically analyze recent literature on the efficacy and safety of biologics in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and immune thrombocytopenia. Our analysis of benefits, resistance to the therapy, risk of infections, tumors and other serious complications related to chronic administration of biologics is based on the molecular/cellular mechanisms of their interaction with the immune system. We also address whether it is feasible to attenuate the risks associated with biologics without limiting their benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-136
Number of pages18
JournalDrugs of Today
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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