What is Humira and how does it work?

About Humira

HUMIRA (adalimumab) is a fully human monoclonal antibody. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins made by a type of blood cell to fight a foreign particle in the body.

HUMIRA recognises and binds to a specific protein (tumour necrosis factor or TNF-alpha), which is present at increased levels in a range of inflammatory conditions known as autoimmune diseases such as:

Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is a naturally occurring cytokine (small protein) that is involved in normal inflammatory and immune responses. Elevated (higher than normal) levels of TNF are found in some inflammatory conditions.

The cause of autoimmune disease is currently not well understood but it has been found that increased levels of a protein called tumour necrosis factor (TNF ) plays a key role in the excessive inflammation that is a feature of these diseases.

TNF triggers inflammation as part of the body’s normal immune system response, however too much TNF can attack normal, healthy body tissue and cause tissue damage. HUMIRA binds to TNF and neutralises the function of TNF by blocking its interaction with receptors.