Pegfilgrastim is a recombinant human granulocyte colony stimulating factor used to stimulate the production of neutrophils and prevent febrile neutropenia or infections after myelosuppressive chemotherapy.

Brand Names
Fulphila, Fylnetra, Neulasta, Udenyca, Ziextenzo
Generic Name
DrugBank Accession Number

Pegfilgrastim is a PEGylated form of the recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) analogue, filgrastim.2 The drug is approved for use to decrease the incidence of infection, as manifested by febrile neutropenia, in susceptible patients with with non-myeloid cancer receiving myelosuppressive anti-cancer treatment.8 Although the risk of developing febrile neutropenia is less than 20% in many readily used chemotherapy regimens,7 infections pose risks of hospitalization and mortalities.4 Due to the relatively short circulating half-life of filgrastim, a 20 kDa PEG moiety was covalently conjugated to the N-terminus of filgrastim (at the methionine residue) to develop longer-acting pegfilgrastim.1,3 Due to a longer half-life and slower elimination rate than filgrastim, pegfilgrastim requires less frequent dosing than filgrastim; however, pegfilgrastim has a comparable pharmacological activity to filgrastim and binds to the G-CSF receptor to stimulate the proliferation, differentiation, and activation of neutrophils.3

First developed by Amgen, pegfilgrastim was initially approved by the FDA in 2002 and marketed as Neulasta. It is typically administered via a subcutaneous injection. There are several pegfilgrastim biosimilars (Fulphila, Pelgraz or Lapelga, Pelmeg, Udenyca, Ziextenzo, Grasustek, Fylnetra, Stimufend) by Health Canada, European Union (EU), and FDA that are approved to reduce infection risk.10,11,14 These biosimilars are highly similar to the reference product, Neulasta, in terms of pharmacological and pharmacokinetic profile and conditions of use.12

Biologic Classification
Protein Based Therapies
Haematopoietic growth factors
Protein Structure
Protein Chemical Formula
Protein Average Weight
39000.0 Da (approximate, PEGylated)
> Pegfilgrastim sequence
Download FASTA Format
  • Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor pegfilgrastim
  • peg-filgrastim
  • Pegfilgrastim
  • pegfilgrastim-apgf
  • pegfilgrastim-bmez
  • pegfilgrastim-cbqv
  • pegfilgrastim-jmdb



Pegfilgrastim is indicated to decrease the incidence of infection, as manifested by febrile neutropenia, in patients with non­ myeloid malignancies receiving myelosuppressive anti-cancer drugs associated with a clinically significant incidence of febrile neutropenia.15

It is also indicated to increase survival in patients acutely exposed to myelosuppressive doses of radiation (Hematopoietic Subsyndrome of Acute Radiation Syndrome).15

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Associated Conditions
Indication TypeIndicationCombined Product DetailsApproval LevelAge GroupPatient CharacteristicsDose Form
Management ofChemotherapy induced neutropenia••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••• ••••••••••• •••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••
Management ofHematopoietic subsyndrome of acute radiation syndrome•••••••••••••••••••••
Prevention ofInfection nos••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••• ••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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Pegfilgrastim is a recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) that promotes the production, proliferation, and maturation of neutrophils, which are white blood cells involved in both innate and adaptive immune responses.4,7 The safety and efficacy of pegfilgrastim in reducing the risk of febrile neutropenia and infections have been demonstrated in various tumor types and settings.4

During chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, the clearance of pegfilgrastim is significantly reduced and the concentration of pegfilgrastim is sustained until the onset of neutrophil recovery.1 Serum concentrations of pegfilgrastim decline as the neutrophil count increases as neutrophil and neutrophil precursors are involved in cell-mediated clearance of the drug.2 Due the addition of polyethylene glycol group to its structure, Pegfilgrastim is a long-acting form of filgrastim with an extended serum half-life and reduced renal clearance.3 Although it is more slowly absorbed than filgrastim, self-regulation of pegfilgrastim is more efficient and the drug effects are maintained during one chemotherapy cycle (2-3 weeks).1

Mechanism of action

Neutrophils are short-lived immune cells that are highly susceptible to cell death following myelosuppressive chemotherapy. This marked reduction in neutrophil numbers during chemotherapy increases the risk of hospitalization, infection, and infection-related mortality. It also directly impacts the clinical outcome of patients if cases of febrile neutropenia requires dose reductions or schedule delay of chemotherapy, thus reducing the clinical efficacy of chemotherapy and patient benefit from receiving appropriate treatment.4

G-CSF is an endogenous haematopoietic growth factor that stimulates granulopoietic cells of the neutrophil lineage. Pegfilgrastim mimics its biological actions and binds to the same G-CSF receptor expressed on cells of myeloid lineage, such as granulocytic precursors and mature neutrophils.1 Upon binding of the ligand, G-CSF receptor undergoes a conformational change and activates several downstream signalling pathways including JAK/STAT, PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK.5 These pathways work to increase proliferation and differentiation of granulocyte progenitor cells, induce maturation of the progenitor cells, and enhance survival and function of mature neutrophils.1

AGranulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor

Pegfilgrastim has a lower absolute bioavailability than filgrastim following subcutaneous administration. The absorption of pegfilgrastim is largely dependent on the lymphatic system due to the attached PEG group contributing to the large size of the drug. It is slowly absorbed following subcutaneous administration with a time to peak concentration (Tmax) of about one to two days.1

Volume of distribution

Pegfilgrastim appears to have a volume of distribution of approximately 170 L.6

Protein binding

The plasma protein binding of pegfilgrastim is unlikely.13


It is not know whether pegfilgrastim is metabolized into major metabolites.13 Once it binds to the therapeutic target, pegfilgrastim is internalized by the neutrophil and undergoes nonspecific degradation.1

Route of elimination

The polyethylene glycol moiety limits the renal clearance by glomerular filtration of pegfilgrastim, making neutrophil-mediated clearance as the predominant route of elimination.3 This elimination pathway is initiated by the binding of pegfilgrastim to the G-CSF receptor on the neutrophil cell surface, leading to the internalization of the pegfilgrastim-receptor complex via endocytosis and subsequent degradation inside the cell. While hepatic clearance has not been well characterized for pegfilgrastim, its non-PEGylated precursor filgrastim is known to be unaffected by changes in hepatic clearance.1


The serum half-life of Pegfilgrastim is highly variable depending on the absolute neutrophil count, with the range of 15 to 80 hours following subcutaneous administration. The median serum half-life of 42 hours.3,8


Pegfilgrastim has a self-regulating clearance that involves neutrophil-induced clearance.1,4 The clearance is dependent on the number of neutrophils and body weight of the patient: the clearance increases with increasing number of granulocytes and lower body weights.8 Pegfilgrastim is not eliminated from the circulation until neutrophils start to recover following chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and its clearance is increased as neutrophil counts also increase.4 The apparent serum clearance is 14 mL/h/kg.13

Adverse Effects
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The maximum safe dose of pegfilgrastim has not been established; however, the highest dose used in clinical trials was 300 mcg/kg.7 Overdosage of pegfilgrastim may result in leukocytosis and bone pain. Events of edema, dyspnea, and pleural effusion have been reported in a single patient who self-administered pegfilgrastim on 8 consecutive days in error. In the event of overdose, the patient should be monitored for signs and symptoms of toxicity and responded with appropriate general supportive care.8,7

Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
Antihemophilic factor (recombinant), PEGylatedThe therapeutic efficacy of Antihemophilic factor (recombinant), PEGylated can be decreased when used in combination with Pegfilgrastim.
Certolizumab pegolThe therapeutic efficacy of Certolizumab pegol can be decreased when used in combination with Pegfilgrastim.
CyclophosphamideThe risk or severity of pulmonary toxicity can be increased when Pegfilgrastim is combined with Cyclophosphamide.
Damoctocog alfa pegolThe therapeutic efficacy of Damoctocog alfa pegol can be decreased when used in combination with Pegfilgrastim.
ElapegademaseThe therapeutic efficacy of Elapegademase can be decreased when used in combination with Pegfilgrastim.
Food Interactions
No interactions found.


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Brand Name Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
CegfilaInjection, solution6 mgSubcutaneousMundipharma Corporation (Ireland) Limited2020-12-16Not applicableEU flag
FulphilaInjection6 mg/0.6mLSubcutaneousMylan Institutional LLC2018-07-092026-05-31US flag
FulphilaInjection6 mg/0.6mLSubcutaneousBiocon Biologics Inc.2023-10-01Not applicableUS flag
FulphilaInjection, solution6 mgSubcutaneousViatris Limited2020-12-16Not applicableEU flag
FulphilaSolution10 mg / mLSubcutaneousBiosimilar Collaborations Ireland Limited2020-02-07Not applicableCanada flag


ATC Codes
L03AA13 — Pegfilgrastim
Drug Categories
Chemical TaxonomyProvided by Classyfire
Not Available
Organic Compounds
Super Class
Organic Acids
Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives
Sub Class
Amino Acids, Peptides, and Analogues
Direct Parent
Alternative Parents
Not Available
Not Available
Molecular Framework
Not Available
External Descriptors
Not Available
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number


General References
  1. Yang BB, Kido A: Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of pegfilgrastim. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2011 May;50(5):295-306. doi: 10.2165/11586040-000000000-00000. [Article]
  2. Curran MP, Goa KL: Pegfilgrastim. Drugs. 2002;62(8):1207-13; discussion 1214-5. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200262080-00012. [Article]
  3. Molineux G: The design and development of pegfilgrastim (PEG-rmetHuG-CSF, Neulasta). Curr Pharm Des. 2004;10(11):1235-44. doi: 10.2174/1381612043452613. [Article]
  4. Arvedson T, O'Kelly J, Yang BB: Design Rationale and Development Approach for Pegfilgrastim as a Long-Acting Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor. BioDrugs. 2015 Jun;29(3):185-98. doi: 10.1007/s40259-015-0127-4. [Article]
  5. Dwivedi P, Greis KD: Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor signaling in severe congenital neutropenia, chronic neutrophilic leukemia, and related malignancies. Exp Hematol. 2017 Feb;46:9-20. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2016.10.008. Epub 2016 Oct 24. [Article]
  6. Waller CF, Tiessen RG, Lawrence TE, Shaw A, Liu MS, Sharma R, Baczkowski M, Kothekar MA, Micales CE, Barve A, Ranganna GM, Pennella EJ: A pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics equivalence trial of the proposed pegfilgrastim biosimilar, MYL-1401H, versus reference pegfilgrastim. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2018 Jun;144(6):1087-1095. doi: 10.1007/s00432-018-2643-3. Epub 2018 Apr 18. [Article]
  7. Parker SD, King N, Jacobs TF: Pegfilgrastim . [Article]
  8. FDA Approved Drug Products: NEULASTA (pegfilgrastim) injection, for subcutaneous use [Link]
  9. Amgen: Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) MSDS [Link]
  10. GENERICS AND BIOSIMILARS INITIATIVE: Biosimilars of pegfilgrastim [Link]
  11. GENERICS AND BIOSIMILARS INITIATIVE: EMA approval for pegfilgrastim biosimilar Grasustek [Link]
  12. FDA: Biosimilar and Interchangeable Products [Link]
  13. Cancer Care Ontario Drug Information: Pegfilgrastim [Link]
  14. FDA Approved Drug Products: STIMUFEND (pegfilgrastim-fpgk) injection, for subcutaneous use [Link]
  15. FDA Approved Drug Products: UDENYCA (pegfilgrastim-cbqv) injection, for subcutaneous use (November 2022) [Link]
PubChem Substance
Therapeutic Targets Database
RxList Drug Page Drug Page

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
4Active Not RecruitingTreatmentStage I Breast Cancer1
4CompletedPreventionBreast Cancer2
4CompletedPreventionBreast Cancer / Lung Cancer / Neutropenia / Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) / Ovarian Cancer1
4CompletedPreventionMalignant Solid Neoplasms1


Not Available
  • Amgen Inc.
  • Physicians Total Care Inc.
Dosage Forms
SolutionSubcutaneous6 mg
SolutionSubcutaneous6 mg / 0.6 mL
InjectionSubcutaneous6 mg/0.6mL
Injection; kitSubcutaneous6 mg/0.6mL
SolutionParenteral; Subcutaneous6 MG
SolutionSubcutaneous10 mg / mL
SolutionSubcutaneous6.000 mg
SolutionSubcutaneous600000 mg
Injection, solutionSubcutaneous6 mg
SolutionSubcutaneous10 mg
Solution5 mg/1ml
Injection, solutionSubcutaneous
Injection, solutionParenteral; Subcutaneous6 MG
Injection, solutionSubcutaneous6 mg/0.6mL
Injection, solution6 mg/0.6ml
Unit descriptionCostUnit
Neulasta 6 mg/0.6 ml syringe4102.37USD syringe
Neulasta 6 mg/0.6ml Solution 0.6ml Syringe4026.05USD syringe
DrugBank does not sell nor buy drugs. Pricing information is supplied for informational purposes only.
Patent NumberPediatric ExtensionApprovedExpires (estimated)Region
CA1341537No2007-07-312024-07-31Canada flag
CA1339071No1997-07-292014-07-29Canada flag


Experimental Properties
melting point (°C)60 °CLuo, P., Protein Science 11:1218-1226 (2002)


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Pharmacological action
General Function
Receptor activity
Specific Function
Receptor for granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (CSF3), essential for granulocytic maturation. Plays a crucial role in the proliferation, differientation and survival of cells along the neutroph...
Gene Name
Uniprot ID
Uniprot Name
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor
Molecular Weight
92155.615 Da
  1. Erkeland SJ, Aarts LH, Irandoust M, Roovers O, Klomp A, Valkhof M, Gits J, Eyckerman S, Tavernier J, Touw IP: Novel role of WD40 and SOCS box protein-2 in steady-state distribution of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor and G-CSF-controlled proliferation and differentiation signaling. Oncogene. 2007 Mar 29;26(14):1985-94. Epub 2006 Sep 25. [Article]
  2. Elsasser A, Franzen M, Kohlmann A, Weisser M, Schnittger S, Schoch C, Reddy VA, Burel S, Zhang DE, Ueffing M, Tenen DG, Hiddemann W, Behre G: The fusion protein AML1-ETO in acute myeloid leukemia with translocation t(8;21) induces c-jun protein expression via the proximal AP-1 site of the c-jun promoter in an indirect, JNK-dependent manner. Oncogene. 2003 Aug 28;22(36):5646-57. [Article]
  3. Ward AC: The role of the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSF-R) in disease. Front Biosci. 2007 Jan 1;12:608-18. [Article]
  4. Zhuang D, Qiu Y, Haque SJ, Dong F: Tyrosine 729 of the G-CSF receptor controls the duration of receptor signaling: involvement of SOCS3 and SOCS1. J Leukoc Biol. 2005 Oct;78(4):1008-15. Epub 2005 Jul 20. [Article]
  5. Cao YR, Shao ZH, Liu H, Shi J, Bai J, Tu MF, Wang HQ, Xing LM, Cui ZZ, Sun J, Jia HR, Yang TY: [The response of bone marrow hematopoietic cells to G-CSF in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria patients]. Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2005 Apr;26(4):235-8. [Article]
  6. Kotto-Kome AC, Fox SE, Lu W, Yang BB, Christensen RD, Calhoun DA: Evidence that the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) receptor plays a role in the pharmacokinetics of G-CSF and PegG-CSF using a G-CSF-R KO model. Pharmacol Res. 2004 Jul;50(1):55-8. [Article]


Pharmacological action
General Function
Serine-type endopeptidase activity
Specific Function
Modifies the functions of natural killer cells, monocytes and granulocytes. Inhibits C5a-dependent neutrophil enzyme release and chemotaxis.
Gene Name
Uniprot ID
Uniprot Name
Neutrophil elastase
Molecular Weight
28517.81 Da
  1. Carter CR, Whitmore KM, Thorpe R: The significance of carbohydrates on G-CSF: differential sensitivity of G-CSFs to human neutrophil elastase degradation. J Leukoc Biol. 2004 Mar;75(3):515-22. Epub 2003 Dec 4. [Article]
  2. Jian MY, Koizumi T, Tsushima K, Fujimoto K, Kubo K: Effects of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and neutrophil elastase inhibitor (ONO-5046) on acid-induced lung injury in rats. Inflammation. 2004 Dec;28(6):327-36. [Article]
  3. Pelus LM, Bian H, King AG, Fukuda S: Neutrophil-derived MMP-9 mediates synergistic mobilization of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells by the combination of G-CSF and the chemokines GRObeta/CXCL2 and GRObetaT/CXCL2delta4. Blood. 2004 Jan 1;103(1):110-9. Epub 2003 Sep 4. [Article]
  4. Druhan LJ, Ai J, Massullo P, Kindwall-Keller T, Ranalli MA, Avalos BR: Novel mechanism of G-CSF refractoriness in patients with severe congenital neutropenia. Blood. 2005 Jan 15;105(2):584-91. Epub 2004 Sep 7. [Article]
  5. Schepers H, Wierenga AT, van Gosliga D, Eggen BJ, Vellenga E, Schuringa JJ: Reintroduction of C/EBPalpha in leukemic CD34+ stem/progenitor cells impairs self-renewal and partially restores myelopoiesis. Blood. 2007 Aug 15;110(4):1317-25. Epub 2007 May 2. [Article]
  6. Abdolzade-Bavil A, von Kerczek A, Cooksey BA, Kaufman T, Krasney PA, Pukac L, Gorlach M, Lammerich A, Scheckermann C, Allgaier H, Shen WD, Liu PM: Differential sensitivity of lipegfilgrastim and pegfilgrastim to neutrophil elastase correlates with differences in clinical pharmacokinetic profile. J Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Feb;56(2):186-94. doi: 10.1002/jcph.578. Epub 2015 Sep 1. [Article]

Drug created at June 13, 2005 13:24 / Updated at January 11, 2024 10:00