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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2005 Apr;67(2):151-9. Epub 2004 Dec 4.

Therapeutic insulins and their large-scale manufacture.

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  • 1Industrial Biochemistry Program, University of Limerick, Limerick City, Ireland.


Biotechnological innovations over the past 25 years have underpinned the rapid development of a thriving biopharmaceutical sector. Therapeutic insulin remains one of the most commonly used products of pharmaceutical biotechnology and insulin-based products command annual global sales in excess of $4.5 billion. Innovations in its method of production and in particular the advent of engineered insulin analogues provide a fascinating insight into how scientific and technological advances have impacted upon the pharmaceutical biotechnology sector as a whole. Current insulin-based diabetes research is increasingly focused not on the insulin molecule per se, but upon areas such as the development of non-parenteral insulin delivery systems, as well as organ-/cell-based and gene therapy-based approaches to controlling the disease.

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