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Analysis of therapeutic growth hormone preparations: Report of an interlaboratory collaborative study on growth hormone assay methodologies

, : Analysis of therapeutic growth hormone preparations: Report of an interlaboratory collaborative study on growth hormone assay methodologies. Biologicals 20(3): 221-231

Recombinant DNA-derived human growth hormone (somatotropin) is widely used to treat growth hormone-deficient children. The potency of this product is determined by in-vivo bioassay in hypophysectomized rats, which is imprecise, costly and invasive, and there have been suggestions that it could safely be replaced with in-vitro or physico-chemical alternatives. In this report we present the results of a collaborative study designed to test this proposal. Somatotropin was modified by mild or severe proteolysis, mild or severe oxidation or treatment at high pH, and compared in a multi-centre collaborative study with unmodified somatotropin or with dimerized somatotropin. Participating laboratories included manufacturers and national control laboratories, and pharmacopoeial bioassays were compared with in-house in-vitro and physico-chemical bioassays. Although performing adequately with untreated somatotropin, for degraded samples the in-vivo bioassays were relatively unresponsive to changes in the growth hormone molecule. In contrast, the physico-chemical assays, in particular the reverse-phase HPLC, performed with a high degree of selectivity. We conclude that in the case of somatotropin, the in-vivo bioassay can be removed from the routine product specification with an acceptable degree of security. This however does not obviate the requirement rigorously to demonstrate biological activity in-vivo during product development, nor may the conclusions of this study be applied to other therapeutic recombinant proteins without similar collaborative investigations.


PMID: 1457107

DOI: 10.1016/s1045-1056(05)80041-7

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