Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) is the proximate hormone necessary for statural growth and must be present in order for children's bones, cartilage and organs to grow normally. In healthy individuals, growth hormone is secreted into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland and binds to growth hormone receptors on liver and other cells, where it stimulates the cellular production and secretion of IGF-1 into the bloodstream.
"For decades, the only available drug treatment for short stature has been shots of growth hormone. However, patients who are deficient in IGF-1 and resistant to the effects of growth hormone do not respond well, if at all, to the shots," said Dr. Richard Levy, a pediatric endocrinologist at Rush. "Instead of using growth hormone to stimulate the production of IGF-1, the goal is to replace the IGF-1 directly."
Increlex is a genetically engineered copy of IGF-1. The purified protein has been shown to be structurally and functionally identical to natural human IGF-1. It is injected daily before a meal to provide the catalyst the body needs to grow.
The FDA's approval of Increlex is based on clinical trial data from 71 patients. Data reported at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society demonstrated a statistically significant increase in growth rate over an eight-year period in response to Increlex therapy. Compared to pre-treatment growth patterns, on average, children gained an additional inch per year for each year of therapy over the course of eight years. In addition
Contact: Kim Waterman
Rush University Medical Center