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“All antibodies should be manufactured recombinantly – not just therapeutic antibodies”

Antibodies are outstanding tools for biomedical research and essential components of a myriad of diagnostic tests. They are also the largest and fastest growing source of new drugs. The vast majority of therapeutic antibodies are made using recombinant DNA technology, which has enabled the engineering of specific functions and the reduction or elimination of undesirable side-effects. However, protein engineering has largely been ignored during the development of antibodies for diagnostics and research, where most are still made by immunising goats or rabbits (“polyclonal” antibodies) or using hybridoma cells (“monoclonal” antibodies).

Absolute Antibody Ltd was founded in Oxford, UK, in August 2012, with the vision that all antibody users should be able to use recombinant antibodies, which are absolutely defined by their amino acid sequence. This view gained support in 2015 with a Comment in Nature magazine by Bradbury and Pluckthun (+110 co-signatories) – “Reproducibility: Standardize antibodies used in research“. Rather than creating entirely new antibodies (or antibody-like molecules), we are building a catalog by taking existing antibodies (often from hybridomas) then manufacturing them in a superior way and improving their usefulness by engineering. For more information, check out our introductory video.

The company achieves this through the use of proprietary vectors (pUV™), transient transfection of a high-yielding mammalian cell line (HEXpress) and a universal purification platform. In this way 100s of mgs can be produced within two weeks and it allows Antibody Engineering, e.g. rapid reformatting or generation of unusual formats like Fc Silent™, bi-specific antibodies, recombinant Fab and Fab2 (AbFab2™) fragments.

Antibody sequencing, manufacturing and engineering services are offered to all antibody users and the ever-growing antibody catalog already includes 30 research-grade biosimilars, as well as recombinant versions of “classics” (e.g. anti-F4/80 [Cl:3A-1], anti-phosphotyrosine [PY20] and anti-c-myc [9E10]).

Why Use Recombinant Antibodies? Key advantages >>