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J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2013 May-Jun;67(3):140-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vascn.2013.01.011. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Porcine model to evaluate local tissue tolerability associated with subcutaneous delivery of protein.

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Halozyme Therapeutics Inc., San Diego, CA 92121, United States.



The conversion from intravenous (IV) to subcutaneous (SC) delivery of biotherapeutics has increased in recent years. Some of the reasons for this shift in route of delivery are due to patient convenience, reduced adverse systemic effects, lack of a need for vascular access, and reduced cost of patient care, which ultimately lead to improved patient quality of life. One caveat to SC delivery is the limited volumes that can be administered at a single site and the associated local tolerability. To characterize factors that affect subcutaneous delivery of large volumes of therapeutic proteins, a porcine model was developed. Model endpoints included measurement of interstitial pressure, assessment of local skin visco-elasticity, and the qualitative assessment of local infusion sites.


Immunoglobulin G (IgG) was subcutaneously infused into the abdominal region of Yucatan miniature swine. Changes in interstitial pressure were measured, using an in-line pressure transducer, during and after infusions. Additionally, pre- and post-infusion changes in local skin visco-elasticity were measured using a CutometerĀ®. Lastly, infusion sites were assessed for post-infusion local skin reactions such as erythema and swelling. Similar assessments were made following SC IgG delivery with the permeation enhancer recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 (rHuPH20).


Subcutaneous infusions of IgG, in the presence of rHuPH20, significantly reduced average interstitial pressures by 55% during the infusion period and by 67% during the post-infusion period, compared to the control. Infusions in the presence of rHuPH20 also maintained better local skin elasticity as seen by a 42% increase in local skin pliability compared to the control. Finally, infusions with rHuPH20 resulted in an 80% reduction in swelling area compared to the control.


A large animal model was developed that incorporates both quantitative and qualitative assessment methods to aid in understanding SC delivery of proteins.

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