A major source of frustration among scientists is the lack of high-quality antibodies available for use in their research. This has often been referred to as the “antibody crisis” or ”reproducibility crisis.” In the absence of suitably validated antibodies, researchers are faced with the onerous (and expensive) task of developing their own antibodies or screening panels of commercially available antibodies, frequently with unsatisfactory results.
Partnering with the FNLCR
Continuing our involvement in initiatives working to fix the problem, Antibodies Incorporated is the recipient of a five-year contract to develop mouse monoclonal antibodies for the NCI-funded Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR). The stated mission of the FNLCR is to “bridge the gaps from discovery to healthcare delivery; accelerate the development of new technologies and prototype treatments for patients; and pave the way for new advances to enter clinical trials for testing, approval, and delivery to patients via the commercial sector.” The monoclonal antibodies to be developed in this project will help towards fulfilling that mission and will be used in a variety of applications including: ELISA, Western Blot, Immunohistochemistry, immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry (IPMS), and immuno-Multiple Reaction Monitoring (iMRM).
Mass Spectrometry-Based Technologies
IPMS and iMRM are two mass spectrometry-based technologies whose use has seen considerable growth in the past decade. Both techniques rely upon highly specific antibodies for use in an initial immuno-enrichment step prior to mass spec analysis. In the case of Immunoprecipitation Mass Spec (IPMS) the endogenous (or overexpressed) target protein is immunoprecipitated from the biological matrix of interest prior to mass spec. Mass spec then allows for identification of the proteins associated with the target protein and hence characterization of the protein complex.
Immuno-MRM (iMRM) differs in that the immuno-enrichment step occurs after the biological sample has been trypsin-digested to generate peptide fragments. iMRM depends upon the availability of high-affinity antibodies to recognize the specific peptide fragments of interest and consequently “anti-peptide” antibodies are an absolute requirement for this technique. Heavy isotope-labeled peptides corresponding to the analyte protein of interest are “spiked” into the sample at known concentration and serve as an internal assay standard, allowing for rigorous quantification of the corresponding “light” peptide derived from the biological sample. iMRM is especially powerful, as it can be multiplexed to allow measurement of up to 100 candidate biomarkers from a biological sample. Similarly, iMRM can be used to simultaneously quantify changes to entire signaling pathways to further mechanistic understanding of signaling dynamics.
More on the Project
Will Fry, President of Antibodies Incorporated, is the principal investigator for the project and is looking forward to collaborating with the NCI-funded FNLCR. When asked about the award Fry offered, “We’re very excited to have been selected from among the many competitive proposals submitted for this award as it underlines our position as a leader in antibody development. Also, after spending many years during my PhD and postdoc learning how to generate research tools it brings a lot of satisfaction to work towards the goal of supplying cutting-edge antibodies to the FNLCR and National Cancer Institute to serve as tools in their mission to lead, conduct, and support cancer research across the nation to advance scientific knowledge and help all people live longer, healthier lives.”
As they are developed, the antibodies will become available to researchers through the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium’s (CPTAC) Antibody Portal (http://antibodies.cancer.gov).
Don’t let the lack of suitable, commercially available, antibodies be an obstacle on your path to discovery. Antibodies Inc. has been partnering with scientists from pharma, diagnostics, and academia for over 50 years to help them develop critical reagents. Not sure about the best way to develop the antibody that you need? That’s what we’re here for. We pride ourselves on working one on one with our clients to ensure that we pursue a development strategy that satisfies both price and technical requirements. Get in touch today and learn how we can help you on your path to discovery!