Open Insulin Foundation

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Services & Impact

In the past 20 years, insulin prices have risen nearly ninefold. As a result, one in four diabetics in the U.S. have reported rationing insulin. At Open Insulin we work to ensure that communities in need have access to safe, affordable, high-quality insulin. To aid that, we are developing a small-scale model for decentralized manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals run by and for local communities. We aim to accomplish this by making the technology and knowledge for the purification of insulin available to community groups, and then organizing those groups to produce insulin.


Making Open Insulin available to consumers is estimated to take several years after proceeding through various stages:

  • Research and Development: engineering organisms to produce active insulin and optimize methods to purify it from the cells at laboratory scale
  • Regulatory Approval: generate scientific data and documentation necessary to demonstrate safety and efficacy 
  • Engage local communities in manufacturing and distribution

In addition, we are developing and vetting open-hardware equivalents to production equipment to further reduce production costs. 


 We have been able to successfully strategize and demonstrate the feasibility of this project, with the help of passionate volunteers and part-time workers. We have data strongly suggesting that we can produce both long-acting (glargine) and rapid-acting (lispro) insulin analogs.


Our monthly lab expenses are paid off by individual donations ~ $800/month. We launched fundraising campaigns to buy equipment (January 2020, $6,500 for a bioreactor). We have a grant with the Open Science Foundation to pay for a part-time worker.


Your donation will help us get closer to our goal. With a strong financial situation, we can pay for lab supplies, acquire lab equipment, recruit scientists, and pay for consultation fees for regulation and manufacturing experts.


We will widely share our knowledge about microorganism engineering, protein production, navigating regulatory processes, and best practices for biomedicine production via informal publications, technical documentation, and discussion with other organizations with similar missions.

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