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Endocrinology. 2002 Oct;143(10):4123-30.

SOM230: a new somatostatin peptidomimetic with potent inhibitory effects on the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I axis in rats, primates, and dogs.

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Novartis Pharma AG, Research Transplantation WSJ 386, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland.


The goal of this project was to find a somatostatin (SRIF) analog with superior therapeutic potential. Receptor binding studies of new SRIF analogs were used to reveal SRIF substructures that interact with individual human SRIF receptor subtypes (sst1-sst5). Incorporation of these substructures into a stable cyclohexapeptide template led to SOM230, which binds with nanomolar affinity to sst1, sst2, sst3, and sst5. In rats, the inhibitory effect of SOM230 on GH was similar to SMS 201-995 (octreotide) at 1 h, but was 4-fold more potent at 6 h post injection, indicating increased metabolic stability. Treatment of rats with SOM230, at 1 and 10 micro g/kg.h, decreased IGF-I plasma levels, on d 2, by 68% and 90% (P < 0.01); whereas, under SMS 201-995 treatment, plasma IGF-I levels decreased by 28% and 49%, respectively. After a 2-wk infusion of rats, the suppression of IGF-I levels by SOM230 was still pronounced, whereas the response to SMS 201-995 was largely lost. This enhanced effect of SOM230 on IGF-I plasma levels was confirmed in an 8-wk study where both analogs were infused at 50 micro g/kg/h in rats. In rhesus monkey, SOM230 and SMS 201-995 treatment resulted in GH inhibition, with half-maximal inhibitory dose values of 0.5 and 0.4 micro g/kg, respectively, but plasma IGF-I levels were only lowered by SOM230 (-53%). In cynomolgus monkeys, a 2-wk infusion of SOM230, but to a much lesser extent of SMS 201-995, lowered plasma GH levels significantly (from 16.3 to 1.8 ng/ml, P = 0.007). Both in cynomolgus monkeys and beagle dogs, infusion of SOM230, but not SMS 201-995, lowered IGF-I levels significantly. In conclusion, SOM230 has a unique structure, binds almost universally to human ssts, and inhibits potently the GH/IGF-I axis cross-species. SOM230 is a candidate drug for clinical use.

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