Growth hormone deficiency, or GHD, is a rare disease caused by an inadequate secretion of growth hormone from the pituitary gland, a small gland (the size of a pea) located at the base of the brain. GHD often results from genetic mutations or defects in the brain and in these cases, the condition is present from birth. In other cases, GHD is acquired due to trauma, infection, radiation therapy or tumor growth in the pituitary or brain.
About Pediatric GHD
- On average, a child is diagnosed with GHD between 6 to 8 years of age.
- Early diagnosis and treatment has demonstrated benefits in children with GHD.
- GHD affects much more than just a child’s height – heart strength, lung capacity, bone density, immune system function and more can be impacted.
- Children with GHD and other causes of short stature (i.e., idiopathic short stature) have been reported to underachieve academically compared to their peers.
- Discrepancies between IQ and achievement scores in reading, spelling and arithmetic have been noted.
- Higher-than-expected rate of behavior problems have also been reported.
- Children with GHD show a slower growth pattern than their peers.
- Many times the child will grow normally until age 2 or 3, then begins to show signs of delayed growth.
Pediatric GHD Treatment
Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) is an effective therapy for children with GHD, helping to return them to their intended growth percentiles and overcome their growth failure. However, there has been little scientific or therapeutic innovation in the category for several decades and current products require daily injections for a total of 6-8 years, beginning in early childhood.
- Over a lifetime, children with GHD may receive more than 2,500 growth hormone (GH) injections to treat their condition.
- This creates a burden for children and for parents/caregivers who often administer injections.
- Nearly 2/3 of pediatric GHD patients are not compliant with daily therapy.
- This can lead to reduced height velocity, which results in being unable to reach target adult height.
Given this lack of compliance, which can lead to suboptimal outcomes in children with GHD, there is a clinical need for a safe and effective long-acting growth hormone treatment for which improved treatment adherence is attainable.
About Adult GHD
- GHD in adults can be difficult to diagnose as symptoms often resemble aspects of normal aging.
- GHD is characterized by abnormal body composition, like the amount of body fat, fat distribution, muscle tissue and bone density.
- Another factor is the change in blood lipids (e.g. cholesterol). These changes result in abnormal lipid levels in blood, which is undesirable.
- Most adults with GHD notice a decrease in their energy level and amount of time they can exercise.
- It can take multiple doctor visits and tests for GHD to be properly diagnosed.
Adult GHD Treatment
Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) is an effective therapy for adults with GHD, helping to improve body composition and reduce fatigue and other debilitating symptoms. However, there has been little scientific or therapeutic innovation in the category for several decades and current products require daily injections, often prescribed for the remainder of an adult’s lifetime.
- Approximately 65% of adults in the U.S. with GHD are not fully compliant with therapy.
- Once-daily GH injections place a burden on adults with GHD who must administer treatment indefinitely.
- Missed or skipped doses may also contribute to suboptimal outcomes.
Given this lack of compliance, which can lead to suboptimal outcomes in adults with GHD, there is a clinical need for a safe and effective long-acting growth hormone treatment for which improved treatment adherence is attainable.
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