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Original Iletin--1923. This was made of beef and was Regular/neutral insulin. The 2 vial cartons illustrate the strengths insulin came in at the time; the carton on the left is U20 strength while the one on the right is U40.


Close-up of Iletin vial-1923. Iletin from Eli Lilly. Beef R/Neutral in varying strengths--not highly purified, nor were there any suspension insulins at the time. Photo is likely ca. 1922-1923

Eli Lilly & Co. is an American pharmaceutical giant founded in 1876. Lilly began the commercial production of insulin through a license from Banting & Best in 1923 under the Iletin name. Iletin was produced for 83 years--first in pure beef--in mixed beef and pork insulins and finally in pure pork only. On July 6, 2005, Eli Lilly announced the discontinuation of the last 2 insulins of the Iletin line: Iletin II R and Iletin II NPH--both pork insulins. [1] They are responsible for the Humulin line of insulins. Their products include:


  1. Lilly Discontinues Remaining Iletin Insulins. US Food and Drug Administration (2005).

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