The Open Insulin Project team are biohackers developing a freely available, open protocol for insulin production. The group aims to make insulin more widely available to diabetics to reduce the number of people suffering from complications that result from diabetes that goes untreated with insulin such as blindness, cardiovascular disease, amputations and nerve and kidney damage. Scientific research performed by the Open Insulin Project could lay the groundwork to enable a generic drug company to make low-cost insulin. Open Insulin is researching methods of generating insulin that do not infringe on patents and that can be made publicly available. The group is considering making their recipe for making insulin open-source and providing it to hospitals and other patient-oriented groups that could make insulin themselves.
The Open Insulin Project was founded by Anthony Di Franco in 2015. Di Franco is a computer scientist who has Type I diabetes. The group works out of Counter Culture Labs in Oakland. Other groups participating in the Open Insulin Project include ReaGent in Ghent, Belgium, BioFoundry in Sydney, Australia and collaborators in Senegel, Cameroon and Zimbabwe. In December 2015 the project raised $16,656 on experiment.com.
The group attempted to produce insulin in E. coli bacteria, like the method used by drug manufacturers, but were not successful. Open Insulin switched to producing insulin in yeast. French biochemist, Yann Huon de Kermadec is in charge of the manufacturing process.
Anthony Di Franco
Yann Huon de Kermadec
Biohackers With Diabetes Are Making Their Own Insulin
Dana G Smith
May 30, 2019
The Open Insulin Project: A Case Study for 'Biohacked' Medicines
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