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NameGlatiramer Acetate
Accession NumberDB05259  (APRD00999)
GroupsApproved, Investigational

Glatiramer acetate consists of the acetate salts of synthetic polypeptides, containing four naturally occurring amino acids: L-glutamic acid, L-alanine, L-tyrosine, and L-lysine with an average molar fraction of 0.141, 0.427, 0.095, and 0.338, respectively. The average molecular weight of glatiramer acetate is 5,000-9,000 daltons. It is an immunomodulator, licensed in much of the world for reduced frequency of relapses in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Protein structureNo structure small
Protein chemical formulaC254H422N70O72
Protein average weight5000-9000
>Example Glatiramer peptide
Download FASTA Format
COP-1Not AvailableNot Available
Copolymer-1Not AvailableNot Available
Copoylmer 1Not AvailableNot Available
Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Copaxoneinjection, solution20 mg/mLsubcutaneousTeva Neuroscience, Inc.2008-04-28Not AvailableUs
Copaxoneinjection, solution40 mg/mLsubcutaneousTeva Neuroscience, Inc.2014-01-29Not AvailableUs
Copaxonesolution20 mgsubcutaneousTeva Pharmaceutical Industries LtdNot AvailableNot AvailableCanada
Generic Prescription ProductsNot Available
Over the Counter ProductsNot Available
International BrandsNot Available
Brand mixturesNot Available
SaltsNot Available
CAS number147245-92-9
KingdomOrganic Compounds
SuperclassOrganic Acids
ClassCarboxylic Acids and Derivatives
SubclassAmino Acids, Peptides, and Analogues
Direct parentPeptides
Alternative parentsNot Available
SubstituentsNot Available
Classification descriptionNot Available
IndicationFor reduction of the frequency of relapses in patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.
PharmacodynamicsGlatiramer acetate was originally designed to mimic a protein in myelin, called myelin basic protein, with the intention of inducing EAE (an animal model of MS). Quite to the contrary, it was found to suppress the disease and as a result came to be trialed in human MS. There is some evidence that Glatiramer acetate converts the body's immune response from a Th1 type to a Th2 one, promotes suppressor T cells or acts as an altered peptide ligand. Studies in animals and in vitro systems suggest that upon its administration, glatiramer acetate-specific suppressor T-cells are induced and activated in the periphery. Some fraction of the injected material, either intact or partially hydrolyzed, is presumed to enter the lymphatic circulation, enabling it to reach regional lymph nodes, and some may enter the systemic circulation intact.
Mechanism of actionGlatiramer acetate (GA) exhibits strong and promiscuous binding to MHC molecules (HLA DRB1* variants) and consequent competition with various myelin antigens for their presentation to T cells. A further aspect of its action is potent induction of specific suppressor cells of the T helper 2 (Th2) type that migrate to the brain and lead to in situ bystander suppression. Furthermore, the GA-specific cells in the brain express the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and transforming growth factor beta, in addition to brain-derived neurotrophic factor, whereas they do not express the inflammatory cytokine IFN-gamma. Recent evidence also suggests that Glatiramer acetate directly inhibits dendritic cells and monocytes - both of which are circulating antigen presenting cells.
AbsorptionNot Available
Volume of distributionNot Available
Protein bindingNot Available

Hydrolyzed by proteases

Route of eliminationNot Available
Half lifeNot Available
ClearanceNot Available
ToxicityAdverse reactions include injection site reactions, vasodilatation, chest pain, asthenia, infection, pain, nausea, arthralgia, anxiety, and hypertonia.
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals
PathwaysNot Available
SNP Mediated EffectsNot Available
SNP Mediated Adverse Drug ReactionsNot Available
ManufacturersNot Available
Dosage forms
Injection, solutionsubcutaneous20 mg/mL
Injection, solutionsubcutaneous40 mg/mL
Solutionsubcutaneous20 mg
Unit descriptionCostUnit
Copaxone 20 mg/ml Kit 20 mg Solution, 1 Box = 30 Pre-Filled Syringes3775.25USDbox
Copaxone 20 mg injection kit2264.26USDkit
DrugBank does not sell nor buy drugs. Pricing information is supplied for informational purposes only.
CountryPatent NumberApprovedExpires (estimated)
United States59815891994-05-242014-05-24
Experimental PropertiesNot Available
Synthesis Reference

Tsung-Yu Hsiao, Meng-Fen Ho, “Synthesis of Glatiramer Acetate.” U.S. Patent US20100036092, issued February 11, 2010.

General Reference
  1. Weber MS, Hohlfeld R, Zamvil SS: Mechanism of action of glatiramer acetate in treatment of multiple sclerosis. Neurotherapeutics. 2007 Oct;4(4):647-53. Pubmed
  2. Arnon R, Aharoni R: Mechanism of action of glatiramer acetate in multiple sclerosis and its potential for the development of new applications. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Oct 5;101 Suppl 2:14593-8. Epub 2004 Sep 15. Pubmed
  3. Francis DA: Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone). Int J Clin Pract. 2001 Jul-Aug;55(6):394-8. Pubmed
  4. Li Q, Milo R, Panitch H, Swoveland P, Bever CT Jr: Glatiramer acetate blocks the activation of THP-1 cells by interferon-gamma. Eur J Pharmacol. 1998 Jan 26;342(2-3):303-10. Pubmed
External Links
ATC CodesL03AX13
AHFS CodesNot Available
PDB EntriesNot Available
FDA labelshow(558 KB)
MSDSNot Available
Drug Interactions
DenosumabMonitor therapy due to enhanced immunosuppressive effects and the risk of infections.
LeflunomideConsider therapy modification due to enhanced adverse effects of leflunomide including hematologic toxicity.
NatalizumabAvoid combination due to enhanced adverse effects of natalizumab including the risk of infections.
PimecrolimusAvoid combination due to enhanced immunosuppressive effects.
Rilonaceptresults in increased immunosuppressive effects; increases the risk of infection.
RoflumilastConsider therapy modification due to enhanced immunosuppressive effects.
Sipuleucel-TMonitor therapy due to decreased therapeutic effect of sipuleucel-T.
TacrolimusAvoid combination due to enhanced adverse effects of immunosuppressants.
TofacitinibAvoid combination due to enhanced immunosuppressive effect of tofacitinib.
TrastuzumabMonitor therapy due to enhanced neutropenic effects of immunosuppressants.
Food InteractionsNot Available


1. HLA class II histocompatibility antigen, DRB1-1 beta chain

Kind: protein

Organism: Human

Pharmacological action: unknown

Actions: binder


Name UniProt ID Details
HLA class II histocompatibility antigen, DRB1-1 beta chain P04229 Details


  1. Arnon R, Aharoni R: Mechanism of action of glatiramer acetate in multiple sclerosis and its potential for the development of new applications. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Oct 5;101 Suppl 2:14593-8. Epub 2004 Sep 15. Pubmed
  2. Chen X, Ji ZL, Chen YZ: TTD: Therapeutic Target Database. Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 Jan 1;30(1):412-5. Pubmed

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Drug created on November 18, 2007 11:22 / Updated on July 29, 2014 15:32