Pembrolizumab (Mechanism of Action)

In this article, we will discuss Pembrolizumab (Mechanism of Action). So, let’s get started.

Pembrolizumab is a programmed death receptor-1 (PD 1)-blocking antibody. Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal IgG4 kappa antibody with an approximate molecular weight of 149 kDa.
Pembrolizumab is produced in recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells.

Pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) injection is a sterile, preservative-free, clear to slightly opalescent, colorless to slightly yellow solution for intravenous use. Each vial contains 100 mg of pembrolizumab in 4 mL of solution. Each 1 mL of solution contains 25 mg of pembrolizumab and is formulated in: L-histidine (1.55 mg), polysorbate 80 (0.2 mg), sucrose (70 mg), and Water for Injection, USP.

Mechanism of Action

Binding of the PD-1 ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, to the PD-1 receptor found on T cells, inhibits T cell proliferation and cytokine production. Upregulation of PD-1 ligands occurs in some tumors and signaling through this pathway can contribute to inhibition of active T-cell immune surveillance of tumors. Pembrolizumab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-1 receptor and blocks its interaction with PD-L1 and PD-L2, releasing PD-1 pathway-mediated inhibition of the immune response, including the anti-tumor immune response. In syngeneic mouse tumor models, blocking PD-1 activity resulted in
decreased tumor growth.


Based on the modeling of dose/exposure efficacy and safety relationships and observed pharmacokinetic data from an interim analysis of 41 patients with melanoma treated with pembrolizumab 400 mg every 6 weeks, there are no anticipated clinically significant differences in efficacy and safety between
pembrolizumab doses of 200 mg or 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks or 400 mg every 6 weeks.

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