Once-Weekly Somapacitan vs Daily GH in Children With GH Deficiency: Results From a Randomized Phase 2 Trial

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Apr 1;105(4):e1847-e1861. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgz310.


Context: Daily growth hormone (GH) injections can be burdensome for patients and carers. Somapacitan is a long-acting, reversible albumin-binding GH derivative in development for once-weekly administration in patients with growth hormone deficiency (GHD).

Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of once-weekly somapacitan vs once-daily GH.

Design: REAL 3 is a multicenter, randomized, controlled, double-blind (somapacitan doses), phase 2 study with a 26-week main and 26-week extension phase (NCT02616562).

Setting: This study took place at 29 sites in 11 countries.

Patients: Fifty-nine GH treatment-naive prepubertal children with GHD were randomly assigned; 58 completed the trial.

Interventions: Interventions comprised 3 somapacitan doses (0.04 [n = 16], 0.08 [n = 15], or 0.16 mg/kg/wk [n = 14]) and daily GH (0.034 mg/kg/d [n = 14]), administered subcutaneously.

Main outcome measures: The primary end point was height velocity (HV) at week 26. Secondary efficacy end points included HV SD score (SDS) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) SDS.

Results: At week 26, mean (SD) annualized HV for the somapacitan groups was 8.0 (2.0), 10.9 (1.9), and 12.9 (3.5) cm/year, respectively, vs 11.4 (3.3) cm/year for daily GH; estimated treatment difference (somapacitan 0.16 mg/kg/week-daily GH): 1.7 [95% CI -0.2 to 3.6] cm/year. HV was sustained at week 52, and significantly greater with somapacitan 0.16 mg/kg/week vs daily GH. Mean (SD) change from baseline in HV SDS at week 52 was 4.72 (2.79), 6.14 (3.36), and 8.60 (3.15) for the somapacitan groups, respectively, vs 7.41 (4.08) for daily GH. Model-derived mean (SD) IGF-I SDS for the somapacitan groups was -1.62 (0.86), -1.09 (0.78), and 0.31 (1.06), respectively, vs -0.40 (1.50) observed for daily GH. Safety and tolerability were consistent with the profile of daily GH.

Conclusions: In children with GHD, once-weekly somapacitan 0.16 mg/kg/week provided the closest efficacy match with similar safety and tolerability to daily GH after 26 and 52 weeks of treatment. A short visual summary of our work is available (1).

Keywords: growth hormone; growth hormone deficiency; growth hormone replacement therapy; long-acting growth hormone; somapacitan; treatment burden.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / drug therapy*
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / metabolism
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Human Growth Hormone / administration & dosage*
  • Human Growth Hormone / classification
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / analysis
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis
  • Male
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers
  • IGF1 protein, human
  • IGFBP3 protein, human
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02616562