Two forms of human GH (hGH) have been produced by recombinant DNA technology. One form has an amino acid sequence identical to that of the natural pituitary hormone (rhGH) and the other form has an additional Nterminal methionine (Met-hGH). The biological potencies of these 2 polypeptides have been compared in hypophysectomized rats in a multidose study measuring body weights and several long bone growth parameters. The pharmacokinetic profiles after iv and sc injection were determined in cynomolgus monkeys in a 4-period cross-over study. All of the measured parameters in all the studies indicated that there was no difference in the two forms of hGH. Measurements taken after 27 daily injections of rhGH or Met-hGH (30–500 μg/kg·day) indicated that femur length and width of the proliferative zone in the tibial epiphysis showed dose-related effects for both forms of hGH but no difference between them. The relative potency, based on body weight gain, was calculated using a parallel line bioassay. Weight gain after 8 daily injections in the 5-dose long bone growth study indicated a rhGH potency of 0.80 (95% confidence interval, 0.5–1.23) relative to Met-hGH. It was concluded that the presence of an N-terminal methionine on hGH has no effect on potency in this model. The pharmacokinetic parameters after iv administration were estimated by fitting serum concentration-time data to a 2-compartment model. Parameters after sc injection were computed by compartment-independent methods. MethGH and rhGH had very similar pharmacokinetic profiles after both routes of administration. Comparison of the pharmacokinetic parameters indicated that the clearance after iv administration (rhGH, 15 ml/min; Met-hGH, 13 ml/min) and the sc bioavailability (rhGH, 0.72 ± 0.21; Met-hGH, 0.59 ± 0.21) were not significantly different for the 2 forms of hGH. It was concluded that rhGH and Met-hGH have equivalent bioavailability and pharmacokinetics in cynomolgus monkeys.
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