Humulin N, NPH, human insulin (recombinant DNA origin) isophane suspension

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.

Description (Brief)

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.

Description (Brief)

Humulin N is formulated to have a slower onset of action than regular insulin and a longer duration of activity (slightly less than 24 hours).

Description (Brief)

Object consists of a white cardboard box with black and red printing. Box contains two product inserts and one clear round glass bottle with an orange plastic cap and a white label. Bottle contains a pinkish substance suspended in a clear solution.

Date Made: 1987

Maker: Eli Lilly and Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Indiana, Indianapolis

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Health & Medicine, Biotechnology and Genetics, Recombinant Pharmaceuticals, Science & Mathematics, Diabetes


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Eli Lilly and Company (through Carol Edgar)

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1987.0790.01Accession Number: 1987.0790Catalog Number: 1987.0790.01

Object Name: humulinpharmaceuticalbiological, human insulinbiologicalhuman insulin

Physical Description: human insulin (recombinant DNA origin) (drug active ingredients)cardboard (container material)paper (container material)glass (container material)Measurements: overall: 2 3/4 in x 1 5/16 in x 1 5/16 in; 6.985 cm x 3.33375 cm x 3.33375 cm


Record Id: nmah_1000967

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.