Objective of peptide chemistry has always been the production of analogues for clinical application. Advantages sought over natural peptides are (a) reduced molecular size; (b) prolonged biological half-life, and (c) enhanced specificity. After elucidation of the active core of somatostatin a number of analogues have been synthetized. Among them SMS 201-995, an octapeptide, was selected for further development because of its high potency and prolonged plasma clearance. Procedures extending the duration of action of somatostatin derivatives such as enhancement of lipophilicity and amino acid substitution are described, and factors influencing the specificity of such substances are succinctly analyzed.