Biopharmaceuticals are medical drugs produced using biotechnology.
They are proteins (including antibodies), nucleic acids (DNA, RNA or antisense oligonucleotides) used for therapeutic or in vivo diagnostic purposes, and are produced by means other than direct extraction from a native (non-engineered) biological source.
The first such substance approved for therapeutic use was recombinant human insulin.
The large majority of biopharmaceutical products are pharmaceuticals that are derived from life forms.
A potentially controversial method of producing biopharmaceuticals involves transgenic organisms, particularly plants and animals that have been genetically modified to produce drugs.