Nonclinical pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characterisation of somapacitan: A reversible non-covalent albumin-binding growth hormone

Growth Horm IGF Res. 2017 Aug;35:8-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ghir.2017.05.006. Epub 2017 May 24.


Objective: Somapacitan is an albumin-binding growth hormone derivative intended for once weekly administration, currently in clinical development for treatment of adult as well as juvenile GH deficiency. Nonclinical in vivo pharmacological characterisation of somapacitan was performed to support the clinical trials. Here we present the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of somapacitan in rats, minipigs, and cynomolgus monkeys.

Methods: Pharmacokinetic studies investigating exposure, absorption, clearance, and bioavailability after single intravenous (i.v.) and subcutaneous (s.c.) administration were performed in all species. A dose-response study with five dose levels and a multiple dose pharmacodynamic study with four once weekly doses was performed in hypophysectomised rats to evaluate the effect of somapacitan on growth and IGF-I production.

Results: Pharmacokinetic profiles indicated first order absorption from the subcutaneous tissue after s.c. injections for somapacitan in all three species. Apparent terminal half-lives were 5-6h in rats, 10-12h in minipigs, and 17-20h in monkeys. Somapacitan induced a dose-dependent growth in hypophysectomised rats (p<0.001) and an increase in plasma IGF-I levels in rats (p<0.01), minipigs (p<0.01), and cynomolgus monkeys (p<0.05) after single dose administration. Multiple once weekly dosing of somapacitan in hypophysectomised rats induced a step-wise increase in body weight with an initial linear phase the first 3-4days in each dosing interval (p<0.001).

Conclusion: The nonclinical pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of somapacitan showed similar pharmacokinetic properties, with no absorption-limited elimination, increased clearance and increased and sustained levels of IGF-I in plasma for up to 10days after a single dose administration in all three species. Somapacitan induced a dose-dependent increase in body weight and IGF-I levels in hypophysectomised rats. Multiple dosing of somapacitan in hypophysectomised rats suggested a linear growth for the first 3-4days in each weekly dosing interval, whereas daily hGH dosing showed linear growth for approximately two weeks before reaching a plateau level.

Keywords: Albumin-binding; Cynomolgus monkeys; Growth hormone derivative; Long-acting; Minipigs; Nonclinical pharmacology; Rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / metabolism*
  • Albumins / pharmacokinetics
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / drug therapy
  • Human Growth Hormone / metabolism
  • Human Growth Hormone / pharmacokinetics*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature


  • Albumins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Human Growth Hormone