Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises | VOL. 80
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La découverte de l’insuline

Publication Date Nov 1, 2022

Abstract

The first therapeutic benefits of insulin were recorded after the injection of pancreatic extract, given on January 23, 1922 in Toronto to a 14-year-old teenager. Until then, type I diabetes was always fatal, within weeks or months; the fatal outcome being delayed only at the cost of a drastic low-calorie diet. In previous decades, the importance of the pancreas in the development of diabetes had been pointed out, but all attempts to use a pancreatic extract had failed. It is with the objective of "neutralizing" the destructive effects of pancreatic juice (proteolytic) that the isolation of insulin was carried out by a research team which was totally improbable since it was headed by an orthopedic surgeon, Frederick Banting and a 22-year-old stagiaire, Charles Best. Their work was carried out in the university physiology laboratory of John Macleod and their outcome was made possible thanks to the skills of James Collip who purified the insulin preparation. Scientific reality invites us to emphasize that, Banting works, based on a wrong hypothesis, drew towards an historical discovery. Very quickly recognized as of major importance for medicine, the discovery was greeted by the attribution of the Nobel Prize in 1923. For a hundred years, insulin has not ceased to be an essential drug for tens of millions of patients in the world, but it has been a motor for scientific research: innovation in galenic pharmacy and biopharmacy, in fundamental chemistry as a subject for the study of the structure, analysis and synthesis of protei...

Concepts

Isolation Of Insulin Frederick Banting Charles Best Wrong Hypothesis Historical Discovery Pancreatic Extract Development Of Diabetes Fundamental Chemistry DNA-recombinant Technology Fatal Outcome

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