Endogenous peptide hormones, such as glucagon used for treatment of severe hypoglycemia events in patients with diabetes, are commonly unstable in aqueous solution making development of ready-to-use injection solutions a challenge. Analogs of endogenous peptide hormones can be designed to increase the stability of the molecules. Another approach to enable easy administration of unstable peptides is to formulate them in non-aqueous formulations, such as DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide).

The current study was conducted to compare the PK/PD of glucagon following SC administration in rats when formulated in DMSO or an aqueous formulation (Phosphate buffered solution (PBS)). The PD data were compared to data generated for the stable glucagon analog dasiglucagon in rats.

Four to six male Sprague-Dawley rats received 3 nmol/kg of glucagon in DMSO or in a PBS formulation or dasiglucagon at 2 nmol/kg in a PBS formulation. Blood samples for bioanalysis (glucagon groups only) and blood glucose measurement were taken at pre-dose (0) and 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, 105 and 120 min post dose.

Glucagon in PBS demonstrated a faster absorption, a higher Cmax (98.3 versus 39.9 pmol/L) and faster Tmax (15 versus 45 minutes) compared to glucagon in DMSO. The increase in blood glucose was similar for glucagon and dasiglucagon in PBS and faster compared to glucagon in DMSO.


C. Wenander: Employee; Self; Zealand Pharma A/S. A.H. Valeur: Employee; Self; Zealand Pharma A/S. M. Elander: Employee; Self; Zealand Pharma A/S.

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