The Development of Human Insulin

The discovery of insulin in 1921 was a great medical advancement in diabetes care. Approximately sixty years later, another great milestone paralleled the first: the development of recombinant human insulin. And with the discovery of insulin, Eli Lilly and Company played a significant role by perfecting the large-scale manufacture of human insulin.

In 1982, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Humulin, Lilly's human insulin, for marketing. It was the first commercially available, genetically engineered human insulin on the market and the first pharmaceutical product derived from recombinant DNA technology -`another first in diabetes care for Lilly.

Today, in most parts of the world, 95 percent of insulin users take some form of human insulin.

The following publications contain in-depth information about the discovery science of human insulin.

Recombinant DNA and Biosynthetic Human Insulin: A Source Book, Eli Lilly and Company, March 1981

Science Reprint Series, 11 February 1983, Volume 219, pp. 632-637 Human Insulin from Recombinant DNA Technology by Irving S. Johnson.
Copyright 1983 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Click here to see PDF for Insulin Discovery