Biologic therapies (“biologics”) are used to treat a variety of conditions. Most drugs are manufactured in a laboratory and have relatively simple chemical structures; biologics are much more complicated. Biologics have highly complex chemical structures that are not able to be produced using normal laboratory equipment. Instead, biologics are produced using live bacteria or cells that have been “programmed” by scientists to produce specific substances. This is done by implanting the bacteria or cells with genetic material that contains the instructions for the production of the desired biologic.
The first biologic was insulin. Insulin is produced by implanting human DNA containing instructions for making insulin into bacteria. The bacteria then act like tiny factories, producing insulin that can be used by humans. Other biologics include vaccines, blood and blood components, allergy therapies, and gene therapies.
The use of biologics to treat lung disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma is relatively new. However, there is growing interest in these advanced treatments for COPD and asthma, and there is an increasing number of clinical trials evaluating their safety and effectiveness. At Temple Lung Center, eligible patients may have access to these groundbreaking treatments through our extensive clinical trials program.