Essential medicines and health products

INN and Biologicals

INNs have been assigned to biological products since the early days of the INN Programme. As well as many names for individual substances, animal insulin preparations were given an INN in Recommended list 3 in 1959. In the period up to 1980, names were assigned to antibiotics, synthetic peptides, hormones and other proteins. In names of compounds related by structure and / or function, specific letter groups, called stems, are included to aid recognition by health professionals.

The following categories contain documents presenting an inventory of the policy decisions taken by the INN Expert Group during all these years of change, and of the names assigned to biological and biotechnological substances. Considering the potential for further developments in the field of biologicals, these are intended to be living documents which will be regularly updated to include new policies, and future INNs assigned.

INN for Biologicals (more...)

Biosimilars (more...)

Cell Therapy (more...)

Biological Qualifier (more...)


INN Bio events

  • Biological Qualifier Regulatory Forum on 30th March 2015
    (Survey review and discussion on "Biological Qualifier An INN Proposal" with NDRAs)

  • Front page meeting with INN Stakeholders on 16th June 2015
    (Review of comments on "Biological Qualifier An INN Proposal")
    Expression of Interest on Biological Qualifier page