Pharmacy Product Info » Famous Brand Names »Rituxan-MabThera


Rituxan, MabThera



Brand- Name

Rituxan, MabThera

Generic Name



Roche, Genentech, Biogen Idec, Chugai Pharmaceutical

Disease/Medical Use

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

First Approval Date


Rituximabsold under the trade names Rituxan and MabThera, is a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20, which is primarily found on the surface of B cells. Rituximab is used in the treatment of many lymphomas, leukemias, and some autoimmune disorders.

Rituximab is an intravenous drug that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It belongs to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. Other monoclonal antibodies include trastuzumab (Herceptin) and gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg).

Tumor cells have receptors on their surfaces. Molecules on the outside of the cell can connect to these receptors. When they do, they can cause changes to occur within the cells. One receptor, present in more than 90% of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, is called CD20. Molecules that attach to CD20 can affect the growth and development of the tumor cells and sometimes, the production of new tumor cells. Rituximab is a man-made antibody that was developed using cloning and recombinant DNA technology from human and murine (mice or rat) genes. Rituximab is thought to attach to the CD20 receptor and cause the tumor cells to disintegrate (lyse). In some non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, it also prevents the production of more tumor cells. Rituximab was approved by the FDA in 1997.

In the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, rituximab is used when other biologic medications (TNF-blockers, such as infliximab, etanercept, or adalimumab) have failed to be effective. The effectiveness of rituximab is a result of its temporarily depleting the number of the B-cells, cells of the immune system which are important in promoting inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.


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