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Drug Metab Dispos. 2011 Oct;39(10):1895-903. doi: 10.1124/dmd.111.039883. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

Metabolite profiles of degarelix, a new gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor antagonist, in rat, dog, and monkey.

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Department of Bioanalysis, Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S, Kay Fiskers Plads 11, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark.


Degarelix is a novel competitive gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor blocker (antagonist). In this study, the nonclinical metabolism and excretion of degarelix was investigated in Sprague-Dawley rat, beagle dog, and cynomolgus monkey. Degarelix was found to be stable when incubated in microsomes and cryopreserved hepatocytes from animal liver tissue. Absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion studies in male rat, dog, and monkey showed that after a subcutaneous dose of tritium-labeled degarelix, the peptide was rapidly absorbed with C(max) in plasma of 1 to 2 h. The predominant route of excretion was via the kidneys and the bile. In rat and dog, most of the degarelix dose was eliminated within 48 h via urine and feces in equal amounts (40-50% in each matrix), whereas in monkey the major route of excretion was fecal (50%) and renal (22%). In plasma and urine samples from all three species, mainly intact degarelix was detected. In bile and feces samples from rats and dogs, the same truncated peptides of the parent decapeptide were detected. The major metabolites identified represented the N-terminal tetrapeptide, the pentapeptide, and the heptapeptide. From the animal studies, it could be concluded that degarelix is subject to common peptidic degradation in the liver and bile and is fully excreted via metabolic and biliary (as metabolites and parent compound) and urinary (mainly as parent compound) pathways. Systemic exposure to metabolic products seems to be low.

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