Clinical data
ATC code None
CAS Number 842131-33-3
PubChem (CID) 11526696
ChemSpider 9701482
Chemical and physical data
Formula C30H39FN4O4
Molar mass 538.653 g/mol
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image

Ulimorelin (INN, USAN) (developmental code name TZP-101) is a drug with a modified cyclic peptide structure which acts as a selective agonist of the ghrelin/growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR). Unlike many related drugs, ulimorelin is peripherally selective and has little or no effect on growth hormone (GH) release,[1] instead having a specific laxative effect.[2][3] It has been researched for enhancing gastrointestinal motility, especially in gastroparesis[4] and in aiding recovery of bowel function following gastrointestinal surgery, where opioid analgesic drugs used for post-operative pain relief may worsen existing constipation.[5][6][7][8] Human trial results have been promising, however a common side effect of reduced blood pressure led to the discovery that ulimorelin also acts as an antagonist of α1-adrenoceptors in addition to its intended mechanism of ghrelin receptor agonism.[9]

See also


  1. Fraser GL, Hoveyda HR, Tannenbaum GS. Pharmacological demarcation of the growth hormone, gut motility and feeding effects of ghrelin using a novel ghrelin receptor agonist. Endocrinology. 2008 Dec;149(12):6280-8. doi: 10.1210/en.2008-0804 PMID 18719021
  2. Hoveyda HR, Marsault E, Gagnon R, Mathieu AP, Vézina M, Landry A, Wang Z, Benakli K, Beaubien S, Saint-Louis C, Brassard M, Pinault JF, Ouellet L, Bhat S, Ramaseshan M, Peng X, Foucher L, Beauchemin S, Bhérer P, Veber DF, Peterson ML, Fraser GL. Optimization of the potency and pharmacokinetic properties of a macrocyclic ghrelin receptor agonist (Part I): Development of ulimorelin (TZP-101) from hit to clinic. J Med Chem. 2011 Dec 22;54(24):8305-20. doi: 10.1021/jm2007062 PMID 22106937
  3. Sanger GJ. Ghrelin and motilin receptor agonists: time to introduce bias into drug design. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Feb;26(2):149-55. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12300 PMID 24438586
  4. Wargin W, Thomas H, Clohs L, St-Louis C, Ejskjaer N, Gutierrez M, Shaughnessy L, Kosutic G. Contribution of protein binding to the pharmacokinetics of the ghrelin receptor agonist TZP-101 in healthy volunteers and adults with symptomatic gastroparesis: two randomized, double-blind studies and a binding profile study. Clin Drug Investig. 2009;29(6):409-18. doi: 10.2165/00044011-200929060-00004 PMID 19432500
  5. Popescu I, Fleshner PR, Pezzullo JC, Charlton PA, Kosutic G, Senagore AJ. The Ghrelin agonist TZP-101 for management of postoperative ileus after partial colectomy: a randomized, dose-ranging, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Dis Colon Rectum. 2010 Feb;53(2):126-34. doi: 10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181b54166 PMID 20087086
  6. Greenwood-Van Meerveld B, Kriegsman M, Nelson R. Ghrelin as a target for gastrointestinal motility disorders. Peptides. 2011 Nov;32(11):2352-6. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2011.03.014 PMID 21453735
  7. Bochicchio G, Charlton P, Pezzullo JC, Kosutic G, Senagore A. Ghrelin agonist TZP-101/ulimorelin accelerates gastrointestinal recovery independently of opioid use and surgery type: covariate analysis of phase 2 data. World J Surg. 2012 Jan;36(1):39-45. doi: 10.1007/s00268-011-1335-9 PMID 22072430
  8. Shaw M, Pediconi C, McVey D, Mondou E, Quinn J, Chamblin B, Rousseau F. Safety and efficacy of ulimorelin administered postoperatively to accelerate recovery of gastrointestinal motility following partial bowel resection: results of two randomized, placebo-controlled phase 3 trials. Dis Colon Rectum. 2013 Jul;56(7):888-97. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0b013e31829196d0 PMID 23739196
  9. Broad J, Callaghan B, Sanger GJ, Brock JA, Furness JB. Analysis of the ghrelin receptor-independent vascular actions of ulimorelin. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015 Apr 5;752:34-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.02.005 PMID 25687251

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