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Is Stelara a biologic?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Aug 2, 2022.

Official answer


Yes, Stelara (ustekinumab) is a biologic. A biologic, also known as a biopharmaceutical, is a class of drugs made from naturally occurring molecules, such as proteins, genes, antibodies, sugars, tissues, or cells. This biologic drug blocks proteins that lead to inflammation.

Stelara is prescribed to treat Crohn’s disease, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis and ulcerative colitis. Conditions such as these are caused by having an excessive amount of immune system proteins (also known as cytokines) within the body. The excess cytokines cause inflammation that can occur throughout the body. Stelara, a monoclonal antibody, works to reduce inflammation by blocking two specific cytokines, IL-12 and IL-23.

  1. Janssen. Stelara. Available at: [Accessed June 12, 2022]
  2. U.S Food and Drug Administration. Stelara. September 23, 2016. Available at: [Accessed June 12, 2022]
  3. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. What are “biologics” questions and answers. Feb. 6, 2018. Available at: [Accessed June 12, 2022]

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