Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Short Report

Pharmacokinetic and technical comparison of Sandostatin® LAR® and other formulations of long-acting octreotide

Holger Petersen*, Jean-Claude Bizec, Helmut Schuetz and Marie-Laure Delporte

Author Affiliations

Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:344  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-344

Published: 9 September 2011



Sandostatin® LAR® (Novartis Pharma AG) is a long-acting repeatable formulation of the somatostatin analogue octreotide, the safety and efficacy of which has been established through 15 years of clinical experience. Recently, other formulations of octreotide using polymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) technology have been developed. This study compares the composition and pharmacokinetic (PK) profile of Sandostatin LAR with three other versions of the depot delivery system (formulations A, B and C, available in selected countries).


Sandostatin LAR exhibited a characteristic concentration-time profile with a limited initial release of octreotide ('burst'), an erosion phase from weeks 3-5, and a slowly declining concentration to day 52. The PK profiles of formulations A and B were characterized by a large initial burst during days 0-2, with up to 41% of the overall area under the plasma-concentration time curve achieved. Low and variable octreotide concentrations were observed during the microparticle erosion phase (days 2-62 [day 82 formulation C]) for formulations A, B and C. Sandostatin LAR microparticles are spherical in shape with an average diameter of approximately 50 μm, determined by scanning electron microscopy evaluation. Formulation A had smaller, irregular microparticles, and formulations B and C exhibited a large range of particle diameters (< 20 to > 100 μm). Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy detected a high tin content of 104 mg/kg in formulation B, the presence of which may suggest inadequate purification following polymer synthesis using tin(II)-octoate as catalyst. PK profiles for formulations A, B and C after a single intramuscular injection of 4 mg/kg in male New Zealand rabbits differed markedly from the PK profile of Sandostatin LAR.


Clear differences were seen between Sandostatin LAR and formulations A, B and C, including variations in microparticle size, shape and impurity content. Considering the significant differences in the octreotide release profile between Sandostatin LAR and the other formulations, the safety and efficacy of the other formulations cannot be inferred from the Sandostatin LAR efficacy and safety profile; each of these other formulations should be assessed accordingly.