For the majority of people, growth hormone is produced naturally by the pituitary gland in the brain. As its name implies, growth hormone is responsible for making us grow. However, it also contributes to many other important functions in the body, such as:

  • Growing strong and healthy bones
  • Regulating the body’s metabolism, specifically the balance between lean muscle and fat
  • Developing and maintaining the body's organs
  • General well-being and energy levels

What causes poor growth?

There are many possible reasons why a child may seem to be growing more slowly than their peers or siblings. Some are entirely harmless and do not affect the child’s health. For example, some children simply grow at a different rate from others and will eventually catch up as they get older.

However, there are other, more serious reasons why a child might not be growing as they should. These reasons can range from poor nutrition to certain medical conditions, such as kidney or liver disease. It may even be that their body is not making enough growth hormone, the hormone responsible for making them grow.

Growth is an indicator of overall health and development, so addressing a growth delay early and with the right approach can make a world of difference.

Through our research and therapeutic innovations within growth hormone deficiency, we are driving change to ensure all children can reach their full potential in life.

If  a child is not growing as they should, it is important that her or his doctor identifies the reason as soon as possible. Timely treatment  can help them avoid a medical condition that is slowing or stopping growth.

Meet 10-year-old James living with growth hormone deficiency and his mother Nathalie.

A very healthy baby at birth, James and his twin sister were growing well up until they were nine months. At that age, Nathalie noticed that James was not growing as he possibly should and eventually took him to an endocrinologist.

They will tell you more in this video about their life with a growth disorder but also the importance of detecting growth problems as early as possible.

Human growth hormone (hGH) or growth hormone therapy (GHT) is a biosynthetic hormone replacement therapy. As it is a protein, it needs to be injected subcutaneously in order to work properly.

GHT is normally used to treat children who are not growing due to an underlying medical condition. It could also treat adults affected by growth hormone deficiency.

For children who need growth hormone injections, improvements and advancements in device design have made a big difference.

Today, there are pens with many different useful features to choose from. You can find out more about our devices here

We began pioneering advances in growth hormone therapeutics more than 30 years ago, and three decades later our growth disorder treatments are still benefiting people around the world.

Willing to bring innovative solutions to our patients, our scientists have applied our long-standing expertise in protein engineering to develop a long-acting growth hormone suitable for once-weekly treatment.

Learn more about our ambitious R&D pipeline.