Using recombinant DNA technology to produce drugs in simple organisms like bacteria and yeast is nothing new. Animal-derived insulin was phased out in the early 1980s when Eli Lilly offered the first insulin drug created using recombinant techniques. Using an expression vector for the protein and injecting it into mammalian cells allowed for cheaper, more reproducible production of drugs. Other examples include erythropoietin, interferon, and the anti-Her2 monoclonal antibody.

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