If you have acromegaly, you know that available treatment options are very limited, so when Chiasma, a pharmaceutical company based in Waltham, Massachusetts, received notification that the FDA was not going to approve their new drug, Mycapssa, not only did their stock prices plummet, but the acromegaly community breathed a collective sigh of disappointment.
Chiasma was hoping to gain a share of the acromegaly market with Mycapssa, an oral drug, providing an alternative to the painful shots. Similarly, an under the skin, version was sent back for further studies some years ago and never made it to market.
Globally, only 69,000 people have this rare hormonal disorder where the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone (GH). In many cases, this over-production is caused by a non-cancerous tumor on the pituitary gland. The result is the bones in a person’s hands, feet, and face continue to grow. Other organs are impacted, also. If the patient is a child, it can cause gigantism. Pituitary surgery is usually the preferred treatment, but patients who are not candidates for surgery usually get a monthly shot of somatostatin analog. Other treatments consist of oral dopamine agonists and growth hormone antagonists to limit the pituitary gland’s production of GH.
If you or a loved one has acromegaly, and you’re looking for help, the Hormone Health Network has provided these helpful links:
- Find-an-Endocrinologist or call 1-800-HORMONE (1-800-467-6663)
- MedlinePlus (National Institutes of Health), Growth Disorders
- National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service (National Institutes of Health)
- Mayo Clinic
- Human Growth Foundation