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Orntide acetate, a novel luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) antagonist, was prepared and evaluated in vivo in 30-day and 120-day sustained delivery formulations using a rat animal model. Orntide poly(d,l- lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and poly(d,l- lactide) (PLA) microspheres were prepared by a dispersion method and administered subcutaneously in a liquid vehicle to rats at 2.2 mg Orntide/kg of body weight (30-day forms) or 8.8 mg Orntide/kg (120-day forms). Serum levels of Orntide and testosterone were monitored by radioimmunoassays, and a dose-response study at 4 closes (3, 2.25, 1.5, and 1.75 mg Orntide/kg) was conducted to determine the effective dose of Orntide. Microspheres with diameters between 3.9 and 14 μ were prepared. The onset and duration of testosterone suppression varied for different microsphere formulations and were influenced both by polymer properties and by microsphere characteristics. Microspheres prepared with 5050 and 7525 copolymers effectively sustained peptide release for 14 to 28 days, whereas an 8515 copolymer and the PLA microspheres extended the pharmacological response for more than 120 days. Increase in drug load generally accelerated peptide release from the microspheres, resulting in higher initial serum levels of Orntide and shorter duration of the release: In general, apparent release was faster in vivo than under in vitro conditions. Orntide microspheres effectively suppressed testosterone in rats, providing rapid onset of release and extended periods of chemical castration. Testosterone suppression occurred immediately after microsphere administration without the initial elevation seen with LHRH superagonists.