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Development of Gonadotropin Preparations

FSH was originally derived from animal (pregnant mare serum) or human (post-mortem pituitary glands) sources, but these preparations were abandoned due to safety concerns. Gonadotropins were first extracted from urine in the 1940s; human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in 1940; and then human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) in 1949. Over a decade later, the first urinary forms of hCG and hMG became commercially available. Further improvements in purification methods yielded follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)-only products in the 1980s and the subsequent development of highly purified FSH (HP-hFSH), which became available 10 years later, in 1993, and allows for subcutaneous injection. In the 1970s and 1980s, advances in DNA technology enabled the development of recombinant human FSH (rec-hFSH), which became commercially available in 1995. In 2000, recombinant human luteinizing hormone (rec-hLH) became available, and with the launch of recombinant human hCG (rec-hCG) in 2001, the full recombinant gonadotropin portfolio was available. The most recent developments include the filled-by-mass (FbM) follitropin alfa formulation, the fixed combination of follitropin alfa + lutropin alfa, long-acting FSH gonadotropin, and a new family of prefilled pen injector devices.

(Original Figure Legend, image based on data from Rogério de Barros and Sandro PMID24714837)




Copyright © 2014 Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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