Why Go Recombinant?

The vast majority of reagent monoclonal antibodies are generated from hybridomas, immortal antibody-producing cells created by fusing a tumor (myeloma) cell with an antibody-producing B cell from an immunized animal. However, hybridomas suffer from many limitations. They can undergo genetic drift, leading to batch-to-batch variability; they can be genetically unstable and stop expressing the antibody; and more than 30% of hybridomas contain additional antibody genes, meaning they are not actually monoclonal.

In contrast, recombinant antibodies are manufactured using synthetic genes expressed in a defined in vitro cell line. They offer a variety of benefits compared to traditional hybridoma-produced antibodies.

  • Ensured reproducibility
    A recombinant antibody is absolutely defined by amino acid sequence, ensuring batch-to-batch reproducibility. View data confirming reproducibility between antibody production lots in our application note.
  • Biological definition
    Recent research has shown that more than 30% of traditional hybridoma-derived antibodies are not actually monoclonal, leading to problems with binding specificity, affinity and reproducibility. In contrast, recombinant antibodies are truly biologically defined, with no variation in heavy or light chains; you know exactly what is in each and every vial.
  • High purity
    Our recombinant antibodies are expressed in a chemically defined, serum-free mammalian expression system, eliminating contamination from serum components and resulting in highly pure antibodies with low endotoxin levels.
  • Added antibody value
    Recombinant technology enables antibody engineering and the production of custom antibodies. Novel formats can extend antibody usefulness and open up new experimental possibilities for in vitro and in vivo use. Antibody engineering options include:

    • Switching to different species, isotypes and subtypes
    • Creating antibody fragments, bispecifics, and trispecifics
    • Developing chimeric and humanized antibodies
    • Producing Fc Silent™ versions to reduce non-specific staining
  • Animal-free manufacturing
    Our recombinant antibodies are manufactured in vitro using synthetic genes, an entirely animal-free process. This alleviates animal welfare concerns associated with traditional monoclonal antibody manufacturing. Learn more here.
  • Security
    Unlike hybridomas, recombinant antibodies are not susceptible to contamination, genetic drift or accidental loss. With a known sequence, recombinant antibodies can always be reproduced for further use.

Looking to learn more about the benefits of recombinant antibodies? We answer the question “Why Go Recombinant?” in the presentation below, explaining how engineering custom recombinant antibodies allows researchers to improve experimental design and develop complex controls with absolute precision.


Read our blog post for an overview of recombinant DNA technology.