Octreotide acetate

Octreotide structure

Octreotide acetate

H-5972-GMP, 4081048

What is octreotide acetate?

Octreotide acetate is a longer acting synthetic octapeptide analog of naturally occurring somatostatin. Octreotide acetate inhibits the secretion of gastro-entero-pancreatic peptide hormones and the release of growth hormone. Octreotide also reduces gastrointestinal motility and inhibits contraction of the gall bladder.

First approved for use in the United States in 1988, this longer-acting synthetic peptide is primarily used for the reduction of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 primarily used in adults with acromegaly and pituitary giantism. was developed by the pharmaceutical company Sandoz.

The chemical structure of octreotide acetate is designed to mimic the structure and actions of somatostatin, a naturally occurring peptide hormone. By modifying somatostatin in this way, octreotide acetate gains a longer duration of action and increased stability in the body, making it suitable for therapeutic use in various medical conditions.

The specific placement of amino acids and the presence of disulfide bonds in its structure are key factors contributing to its pharmacological properties. The “acetate” part of octreotide acetate refers to the presence of an acetate group, typically attached to one of the amino acid residues, usually the N-terminal amino group of the peptide.

What is octreotide acetate used for?

Octreotide mechanism of action (MOA)

The octreotide acetate MOA is primarily related to its ability to mimic the actions of somatostatin. It works by binding to specific somatostatin receptors (SST receptors) located throughout the body.

These receptors are particularly abundant in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and pituitary gland. When octreotide acetate binds to these receptors, it exerts inhibitory effects on hormone secretion, including the following:

  • Growth Hormone (GH): In the pituitary gland, it inhibits the release of growth hormone. This is particularly important in the treatment of acromegaly, where excessive GH production leads to abnormal growth of tissues and organs.
  • Insulin and Glucagon: It can reduce the secretion of insulin from the pancreas and glucagon from the alpha cells of the pancreas. This can be beneficial in conditions like insulinomas, where excess insulin production causes hypoglycemia.
  • Gastrin: It also inhibits the release of gastrin, a hormone that stimulates gastric acid This action can be useful in managing conditions associated with excessive gastric acid production.

Octreotide acetate slows down gastrointestinal motility. By doing so, it can reduce the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract. This effect is beneficial in conditions associated with diarrhea, such as carcinoid syndrome and certain types of secretory diarrhea. It also inhibits the contraction of the gallbladder. This effect can be relevant in the management of conditions where gallbladder contractions need to be reduced, such as in cases of gallstone-related pain.

Octreotide is primarily used for growth-hormone lowering therapy in:

  • Acromegaly: A rare hormonal disorder characterized by excessive production of growth hormone (GH) and physiological transformation, such as enlargement of hands, feet and facial feature, in patients. 95% of all acromegaly cases are caused by an adenoma of the pituitary gland. GH-lowering therapy has an important role in the management of acromegaly, either as a first-line treatment, as an alternative to surgery, or as a second-line treatment, with primary outcomes including tumor shrinkage and biochemical control leading to a normalization of mortality risk with many symptoms improving.


Additionally, octreotide has been used for variety of indications, including:

  • Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs): octreotide acetate is indicated for the management of NETs that can develop in various parts of the body, including the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs. It helps control symptoms related to these tumors, such as flushing, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In some cases, it can also slow tumor growth.
  • Carcinoid syndrome: this is a condition caused by the secretion of certain substances, including serotonin, by carcinoid tumors. Octreotide acetate is indicated for alleviating symptoms like flushing, diarrhea, and wheezing associated with carcinoid syndrome.
  • Secretory diarrhea: in conditions characterized by excessive diarrhea due to hormonal or neuroendocrine factors, such as vasoactive intestinal peptide-secreting tumors (VIPomas), Octreotide acetate is indicated to reduce diarrhea and improve quality of life.
  • Bleeding esophageal varices: octreotide acetate can be indicated in cases of cirrhosis and portal hypertension to reduce blood flow to the liver. This helps prevent bleeding from esophageal varices (enlarged veins in the esophagus), which can be a life-threatening complication.
  • Other endocrine disorders: it may be indicated for the management of conditions like insulinomas (tumors of the pancreas that produce excess insulin) and thyrotropinomas (pituitary tumors that produce excessive thyroid-stimulating hormone), among others.
  • Radiolabeled octreotide imaging: In nuclear medicine, a radiolabeled form of octreotide is used for imaging neuroendocrine tumors. This procedure, known as octreotide scintigraphy or octreoscan, helps locate and visualize these tumors.

How is octreotide acetate produced?

1000L SPPS reactor

Octreotide acetate is synthesized through solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS), a widely used method for producing peptides. In SPPS, the peptide chain is built one amino acid at a time, starting from the C-terminal end. The amino acids are activated and attached to a solid support (resin). The growing peptide chain is then sequentially elongated by adding amino acids in the desired sequence.

During peptide synthesis, protecting groups are used to temporarily block certain functional groups on amino acids to prevent unwanted reactions. These protecting groups are selectively removed when needed during the synthesis process. Octreotide acetate may undergo specific side chain modifications to introduce chemical groups like acetate later in the process. These modifications are carefully controlled to ensure the desired properties of the final product. Once the peptide chain is fully assembled, it is cleaved from the resin, yielding a crude form of octreotide.

Continuous chromatography equipment for API purification at the Bachem site in Bubendorf.

The crude octreotide is then purified using various chromatographic techniques. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is often employed to separate and purify the peptide from impurities. The purified peptide is acetylated, typically at the N-terminal amino group, to produce octreotide acetate. This involves the addition of an acetate group (-COCH3) to the peptide. The final octreotide acetate product is formulated for clinical use, often as a sterile solution suitable for injection.

Who manufactures octreotide acetate?

Bachem is a leading manufacturer of generic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Bachem began the first and had its first validation batch produced by 2018, with a very high purity far exceeding regulatory thresholds. We manufacture octreotide acetate production under strict quality control and regulatory guidelines to ensure the purity, stability, and safety of the final pharmaceutical product.

Bachem Vionnaz Quality control

There is more to creating APIs for generics than simply following a recipe. How you make them makes a difference – the support around the molecule is key. Bachem’s regulatory affairs team is highly experienced and communicates with authorities on a regular basis. As authority requirements are getting stricter and stricter, the right support is needed for successful API delivery.

Related products and impurities:

Product numberNameSequence
4099462(Des-L-threoninol⁸)-Octreotide amideH-D-Phe-Cys-Phe-D-Trp-Lys-Thr-Cys-NH₂
4080984Octreotide trifluoroacetate salt (Dimer, Antiparallel)(H-D-Phe-Cys-Phe-D-Trp-Lys-Thr-Cys-L-threoninol)₂ trifluoroacetate salt
4080983Octreotide trifluoroacetate salt (Dimer, Parallel)(H-D-Phe-Cys-Phe-D-Trp-Lys-Thr-Cys-L-threoninol)₂ trifluoroacetate salt

Leading the octreotide scale-up

Bachem develops a cost-effective, large-batch process for octreotide acetate synthesis.

Learn more in our new generics case study.


Octreotide Case Study Mock Up

Bachem Regulatory Documentation


Octreotide synonyms

SMS 201-995


Octreotide sequence

H-D-Phe-Cys-Phe-D-Trp-Lys-Thr-Cys-L-threoninol acetate salt
(Disulfide bond)

Fields of Application

Carcinoid syndrome

Active Substance

Octreotide Acetate is a longer acting synthetic octapeptide analog of naturally occurring somatostatin. Octreotide Acetate inhibits the secretion of gastro-entero-pancreatic peptide hormones and the release of growth hormone. Octreotide reduces gastrointestinal motility and inhibits contraction of the gall bladder.

Molecular Information

Molecular Formula


Relative Molecular Mass

1019.26 g/mol


83150-76-9 (net), 79517-01-4 (acetate)

Long-term Storage

-20 ± 5°C

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