Chemotherapy, irradiation, and other agents are widely used to target the process of cell division in neoplastic cells. However, while these therapies are effective against most cancers, the high proliferative rate of the cells of the hematopoietic system that produce billions of blood cells needed daily throughout life is extremely sensitive to these agents, resulting in loss of blood cell populations, which can be life threatening. Neutropenia is the most serious hematologic toxicity of chemotherapy, which can result in patient morbidity and mortality due to opportunistic infection and often is the limiting factor in dose escalation or duration of chemotherapeutic administration. Neutropenic patients often require hospitalization and incur substantial medical costs associated with anti-infective therapy. Treatment of iatrogenic and congenic neutropenia was changed in the early 1990s with the introduction of filgrastim (Neupogen®) and pegfilgrastim (Neulasta®). With the expiration of patent lives of both of these drugs, biosimilars have begun to emerge. In this review, we will summarize the chemical characteristics, pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy of lipegfilgrastim (Lonquex®), the first long-acting biosimilar filgrastim to receive regulatory approval and enter the marketplace.
- Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry
- Drug Discovery