Insulin Production From Transgenic Safflower


SemBioSys Genetics Inc. announce success in producing human insulin in transgenic safflower, exceeding its target and achieving accumulation levels of 1.2 percent of total seed protein. The company claims that this breakthrough in plant-produced insulin have the potential to “fundamentally transform the economics and scale of insulin production.”

“These results demonstrate that we have produced an authentic insulin molecule in safflower at commercially viable levels. [snip]

At these levels we can produce over one kilogram of insulin per acre of safflower production, which is enough to supply 2,500 patients for one year of treatment. We believe that we could meet the world’s total projected insulin demand in 2010 with less than 16,000 acres of crop production.

SemBioSys also claims that its safflower-produced insulin can be up to 40% cheaper than insulin manufactured via current production methods. The firm now plans to scale up production of the diabetes drug and file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA in 2007.


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