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Longer-Acting Growth Hormones Promising for Adult GH Deficiency

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  • Chief Cushie

Two investigational long-acting growth-hormone (GH) replacement products hold potential for less frequent dosing and improved adherence among adult patients with proven growth-hormone deficiency.


Adult growth-hormone deficiency is a rare disorder characterized by the inadequate secretion of the growth hormone from the pituitary gland. It can be hereditary; can be acquired as a result of trauma, infection, radiation therapy, or brain tumor growth; and can even emerge without a diagnosable cause. Currently, it is treated with once-daily injections of subcutaneous growth hormone.


The new results, from a 26-week phase 3 trial of Novo Nordisk's once-weekly growth-hormone derivative somapacitan and a dose-finding phase 2 safety study of Versartis's long-acting recombinant growth hormone somavaratan, both in adult patients with growth-hormone deficiency, were presented here at ENDO 2017: The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting.


 "Compliance is often a problem with daily growth-hormone injections in children and even with adults," session moderator Luma Ghalib, MD, assistant professor in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, told Medscape Medical News.


"Patients will often stop taking the daily medications, sometimes because of the cost but also because the daily injections are cumbersome. So the two longer-acting agents that have been studied will be an amazing breakthrough if they get [uS FDA]-approved."

But, she cautioned, longer-term data are needed. "In the long term, we worry about the metabolic effects. We know growth hormone can increase insulin resistance and diabetes, so we have to keep an eye on the peaks."


And, she added, there could be a small risk for regrowth of the pituitary adenoma that caused the growth-hormone deficiency. "The risk will probably be slim because we haven't seen regrowth with the daily dosing, but it hasn't been studied."


Read more at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878088

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