Cetuximab (IMC-C225—marketed under the name Erbitux) is a chimeric (mouse/human) monoclonal antibody, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, given by intravenous infusion for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer and head and neck cancer.
This agent is based on Dr. John Mendelsohn's 1980s hypothesis that monoclonal antibodies against EGFR could block receptor activation. Cetuximab was developed by Dr. Esther Pirak, Dr. Esther Hurwitz, and Prof. Michael Sela, one of the developers of Copaxone, of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, as a chimeric human-mouse monoclonal antibody which was derived from the original anti-EGFR mouse monoclonal antibody 225 generated by Dr. Mendelsohn.
Cetuximab is manufactured and distributed in North America by ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb, while in the rest of the world distribution is by Merck KGaA. Cetuximab costs approximately €4,300 for eight weeks of treatment per patient. It is given by intravenous therapy and costs up to $30,000 for eight weeks of treatment per patient.
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