Biosimilars are medicines that are designed to be similar to previously approved biologic medicines.
Types of Medicines
Generic medicines are copies of original, branded medicines. They can be manufactured and sold after the protection on an original product expires. They have the same form and active pharmaceutical ingredient as the original medicine, and they are regulated according to the same standards.
Biologic medicines, or protein-based medicines such as insulin, are designed to interact with specific targets in the patient’s body. A more targeted mechanism of action should lead to a greater chance of the medicine having the desired effect against the disease and should result in fewer side effects than traditional medicines.
Nanoparticles are tiny objects, available only as intravenous formulations, that help medicines get to difficult-to-reach cells and tissue. They can also help protect molecules and control the targeted release of medicines.
Medical devices are articles or instruments used in disease prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Medical devices range in form and function, ranging for instance from inhalers to pacemakers to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, etc.
Herbal medicines are based on extracts from plants or parts of plants that have healing properties. They have been used for hundreds of years and can be seen as the origin of biologic treatments. Herbal medicines are still widely used, in particular in developing countries where modern medicine infrastructure is lacking, and they are regulated in the EU at national and EU-level.
A medicine is commonly defined as a drug or preparation that can treat or prevent disease. Medicines must be delivered into the body, where they are then distributed to the organs that need them before being broken down and excreted.
Vaccines are biological preparations developed from modified versions of the micro-organisms that cause a disease. Vaccines improve or convey immunity to particular diseases, usually in an effort to prevent or cure disease.
Gene therapy is a way of restoring the function in cells where genes are missing or not working properly. It is a highly experimental technique, but has shown promise in clinical trials for some diseases.
Once medicines have been administered and carried to the target by the bloodstream, their active ingredients interact with cells and in different ways, either by stimulating or inhibiting cellular activity.