Helping people fight diabetes since 1923

Since our company was founded over 130 years ago, Eli Lilly and Company has been at the forefront of many significant medical breakthroughs. Lilly has a rich legacy in developing innovative therapeutic strategies for better diabetes care.

1880s

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Lilly was one of the first companies to initiate a bona fide pharmaceutical research program, hiring a pharmaceutical chemist as its first scientist.

1920s

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Our researchers collaborated with Frederick Banting and Charles Best of the University of Toronto to isolate and purify insulin for the treatment of diabetes, then a fatal disease with no effective treatment options. The work resulted in Lilly's introduction of the world's first commercially available insulin product, in 1923.

1980s

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The most significant breakthrough in diabetes care since the 1920s was marked by Lilly's introduction of Human insulin in 1982 identical to that produced by the human body. This was the world's first human-health-care product created using recombinant DNA technology.

1990s

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Lilly introduced insulin lispro and insulin lispro mixtures, fast-acting insulin analogues that offer greater dosing convenience to improve blood-sugar control.

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