A brief account is presented of the events from the time Charles H. Best met Frederick C. Banting in 1920 until the early days of 1922 when the extract of beef pancreas was injected by the partners to each other and was sent to the Toronto General Hospital for use of the first patients. Nineteen hundred twenty-one began gently with some teaching and little practice for Fred Banting. Charles Best was busy with his final year in physiology and biochemistry and with research on experimental diabetes.
The beginning of the insulin research was well organized. The partners were happy to be working alone. The first injection of insulin on July 30, to Dog No. 410, gave a very definite result but caused little excitement. During the first two weeks of August, however, several dramatically successful tests were made on Dog No. 408, and the partners were certain that they could make consistently a very potent extract containing the internal secretion of the pancreas. The excitement increased with each new finding—solubility in acid alcohol, destruction by alkali, by trypsin and by heat, the phenomenal improvement in the clinical condition of the dogs, the prolonged extension of life—all these points made Banting and Best certain that human patients would respond similarly, as was indeed the case.
The reports in Toronto in November and in New Haven in December were enthusiastically received. Insulin had been launched.