The Open Insulin Foundation is a non-profit that organizes a collaboration among several organizations, anchored at community labs in Oakland, California and Baltimore, Maryland, and including a chapter in France.
We are creating the means for communities to have local sources of safe, affordable, high-quality insulin.
Our governance is shared between people with diabetes and people working on the project. We collaborate to develop new tools for open drug production, from R&D to manufacturing for medical use. Our goal is that people living with diabetes and their communities can own and govern the organizations that produce the medicine they depend on to survive.
Originally named The Open Insulin Project, our work began in 2015 at Counter Culture Labs, a community biology lab in Oakland, California. Launching with a crowdfunding campaign that raised just over $16,000, we have since attracted participation from volunteers and community labs around the US and the world, with about two dozen active volunteers and a large network of advisors and collaborators. We are now organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, The Open Insulin Foundation.
When the production of medicine is not owned by the people who rely on it, its supply becomes precarious. This is one of the defining problems of our era. In order to give people who depend on insulin ownership over their lives, we work to democratize the production of insulin. Communities will own the manufacturing systems and insulin will be produced and distributed accordingly. We are developing cooperative business models to achieve this goal.
We plan to keep the means of production accessible to all by making our work open source. This will also enable additional research, help build our network, and promote competition in the market. Once ready for release, engineered microbes and expression and purification protocols will be available to the public, including other scientists in both academic and community labs, on an open source basis. In addition, we plan to publish a roadmap to serve as a guide for others to manufacture and distribute biologic medicines.
Take a look at Open Insulin in the news. Featuring articles from New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, and more.