Recombinant DNA and the Birth of BiotechRecombinant Drugs
After figuring out how to grow recombinant bacteria on an industrial scale and how to harvest the insulin they produce, it was time to bring the recombinant insulin to the market. In 1982 Food and Drug Administration approved Humulin, Eli Lily’s recombinant insulin made from Genentech’s specially modified bacteria. It was the first drug produced through recombinant DNA technology and among the first genetically engineered products to be available to consumers.
Following the success of Humulin, recombinant DNA technology was quickly adopted to replace older methods of producing medical products from human growth hormone to vaccines. Although scientists have since developed new biotechnology techniques, recombinant DNA still plays an important role in the production of several major medical products. Among the objects below are several of the early formulations of Humulin as well as some of the other early recombinant pharmaceuticals produced in the 1980s and 1990s.
"Recombinant DNA and the Birth of Biotech - Recombinant Drugs" showing 11 items.
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- Description (Brief)
- Humulin is human insulin used for treating diabetes. Prior to its development, diabetics used insulin isolated from pig and cow pancreases. Developed by Genentech, the first American biotechnology company, Humulin was licensed to Eli Lilly and became the first marketable product created through recombinant DNA technology. Its licensing by the FDA in October 1982 also made it the first recombinant pharmaceutical approved for use in the United States.
- Recombinant pharmaceuticals are created by inserting genes from one species into a host species, often yeast or bacteria, where they do not naturally occur. The genes code for a desired product, and therefore the genetically modified host organisms can be grown and used as a kind of living factory to produce the product. In this case, genes coding for human insulin are inserted into bacteria. Bacteria produce insulin, which is harvested and used as the active ingredient in Humulin.
- Humulin L is an intermediate-acting insulin with a slower onset of action than regular insulin and a longer duration of activity (up to 24 hours). Due to declining use of longer-acting insulins, Humulin L was discontinued in 2005.
- Object consists of a white cardboard box with black and red printing. Box contains two product inserts and a round, clear glass bottle with an orange plastic cap and white label. Bottle contains a white substance suspended in a clear solution.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Eli Lilly and Company
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center