What Is Arzerra?
) is a prescription medication approved to treat a certain type of leukemia
(cancer of the blood and bone marrow) known as chronic lymphocytic leukemia
). It is reserved for use in people who tried and failed treatment with alemtuzumab
) and fludarabine
) or, when combined with chlorambucil
, for previously untreated people who are not good candidates for fludarabine-based treatment. Arzerra belongs to a group of medicines known as monoclonal antibodies.
Who Makes This Medication?
Arzerra is made by Glaxo Group Limited for GlaxoSmithKline.
How Does Arzerra Work?
An antibody (also known as an immunoglobulin) is a protein made by the immune system. Antibodies attach to antigens, which are proteins found on foreign substances that enter the body. Once attached to the antigen, the antibody marks the substance for destruction by the immune system.
Arzerra is an antibody that is made in a laboratory (rather than a naturally occurring antibody). It works by binding to CD20, a specific antigen found on the surface of healthy cells and leukemia B cells (a type of white blood cell). By binding to the CD20 antigen on leukemia cells
, Arzerra signals the immune system to attack and destroy the leukemia cells.