The name reveals the compound's structure:

1. Ultimate syllable:

"-mab" = monoclonal antibody, e.g., basiliximab

"-cept" = receptor fusion protein, e.g., alefacept

2. Penultimate syllable before "mab":

"-xi-" = chimeric (mouse or rat origin immunoglobulin variable regions; human constant regions)
"-zu-" = humanized (chimeric monoclonal antibody genetically engineered, so that the variable region sequences outside the complementarity determining regions [i.e. combining site] are human)
"-u-" = fully human (selected from an in vitro human phage display library or from a mouse engineered to have human immunoglobulin genes)
"-mo-" = murine

3. Antepenultimate syllable:

"-li-" or "-lim-" = immune system (not consistently used)


chimeric human/mouse antibodies are ximabs, e.g., abciximab
humanized antibodies are zumabs, e.g., alemtuzumab
fully human antibodies are umabs, e.g., adalimumab
murine antibodies are momabs, e.g., ibritumomab

Last updated: August 2, 2012