Anti-cytokine therapeutics: History and update

Rojo A. Ratsimandresy, Jay Rappaport, Jean François Zagury*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Anti-cytokine therapy has promoted a revolution in the treatment of several inflammatory disorders during the past 10 years. Despite their medical and commercial success, they exhibit several drawbacks: difficulties of production, excessive costs, and a few side-effects. A promising alternative to the passive infusion of monoclonal antibodies or soluble cytokine receptors is the use of the active anti-cytokine immune therapy (ACIT). Surprisingly, clinical studies suggested the interest of this approach during the late 1980's, even before the advent of anti-cytokine passive immunotherapy. In this review, we first explain the involvement of several cytokines in many common diseases involving cytokine over-production, and identify key targets for anti-cytokine treatments. We then present an update on current advances in preclinical and clinical development of passive anti-cytokine therapeutic approaches. We further discuss progresses in the promising field of active anti-cytokine immunotherapy. Cytokine receptors biologics and small molecules developed using structure/ function information, which also constitute important options for treating the cytokine-mediated diseases, are not discussed in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1998-2025
Number of pages28
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2009


  • Anti-cytokine therapy
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cancer
  • Cytokines
  • Diabetes
  • Immune-mediated inflammatory disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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