That’s right, Kosher Insulin. Until now, if you were a diabetic and a child of Abraham or follower of Mohammed, you may have found it difficult to find a guiltless source of insulin to accommodate your faith. Now, you might be saying to yourself that recombinant insulin has been around for a while and you’d be right. But that doesn’t fit very well into my joke, now does it… The good people at SemBioSys Genetics Inc have created a way to convert an acre of safflower into a kilogram of insulin.
By inserting a human insulin gene into a safflower plant, for example, the technology has led to the recovery of human insulin as the plant grows and seeds develop, the company says.
Mr. Baum said the company’s next goal is to demonstrate, by the end of the year, that its product works as well as insulin currently on the market to control blood glucose levels.
That would set the stage for a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval to begin human clinical testing at the end of 2007, which would also likely draw the interest of a major pharmaceutical company to take part in the clinical trials. SemBioSys says it can make more than one kilogram of human insulin per acre of safflower production.
That amount could treat 2,500 diabetic patients for one year and, in turn, meet the world’s total projected insulin demand in 2010 with less than 16,000 acres of safflower production.
Worldwide demand for insulin is forecast to soar to 16,000 kg by 2010, from an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 kg last year, because more people are developing the disease and are being diagnosed earlier in their lives, and because of the development of new products such has inhaled insulin, which requires five to 10 times the amount of injected insulin, Mr. Baum said.
I’d still rather suckle at the teat of a genetically engineered pig for my insulin, but to each their own. . . oh wait, I don’t need insulin. . .then why am I suckling on a pig’s teat. . . .
Read more here. . .
Press Release from SemBioSys . . .
(hat tip: Slashdot)