Antibody Development

Our team of accomplished scientists works as an extension of your lab. We are passionate about the development of fit-for-purpose antibodies, and we will work in partnership with you to produce reagents that meet your expectations.


Click here to learn about the advantages of Antibodies Inc's custom service.

We have supported discovery projects with tailor-made antibodies for over 40 years.

Our Antibody Services Group has a long tradition of partnering with teams in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and academic fields in projects such as therapeutic antibody lead generation, diagnostic reagent development, and the development of novel research tools to fuel discovery.

Approach 1: Mouse Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are produced through fusion of murine B-cells (isolated from the spleen of immunized mice) with an immortal mouse myeloma cell line. Fusion of the two different cell types produces a "hybridoma" cell line that shares two desirable features of the parent cell lines: (1) secretion of monoclonal antibodies and (2) immortality. The resulting hybridoma cell line is an infinitely renewable source of monoclonal antibody. Development of mouse monoclonal antibodies through hybridoma fusion generates up to several hundred hybridoma clones secreting monoclonal (epitope-specific) antibodies against your target of interest. These monoclonal antibodies can then be further screened to identify clones with the desired characteristics.

Advantages of this approach include:

  • Monoclonal antibodies bind to a single (defined) epitope on the target molecule and are routinely used in applications where binding specificity is a requirement.
  • A variety of monoclonal antibodies can be generated against distinct epitopes on the target molecule in a single project.
  • Screening of individual clones allows antibodies with the desired characteristics to be isolated.
  • Monoclonal antibodies are secreted from a monoclonal hybridoma cell line that is immortal, thus providing a renewable source of the monoclonal antibody and ensuring lot to lot consistency.

Disadvantages of this approach include:

  • More costly than polyclonal antibody development;
  • Highly-conserved antigens may not evoke a strong immune response (due to tolerance). While a concern, this can be mitigated by using tolerance-impaired mouse strains such as NZB/W and through the use of immunogenic epitope tags/carrier proteins fused to the immunogen.

Learn more about mouse monoclonal antibody development.

Approach 2: Polyclonal Antibodies

Immunization of various hosts (chickens, rabbits, alpacas, etc.) with the antigen of interest provokes an immune response that leads to the generation of antibodies recognizing a variety of different epitopes on the antigen. The antibody-containing fraction from the animal is then isolated and either used directly in the desired immunoassay or subjected to purification. In either case, the antibody preparation is ‘polyclonal’ (i.e. a mixture of different antibodies recognizing different epitopes on the antigen).

Advantages of this approach include:

  • economical;
  • large amounts of antibody produced;
  • polyclonal nature of antibody preparation increases likelihood that antibodies will perform across a variety of sample types (native/denatured/fixed);
  • polyclonality of antibody preparation results in binding to multiple epitopes on the same target molecule and consequently yields greater signal amplification than is realized by monoclonal antibodies.

Disadvantages of this approach include:

  • greater likelihood of undesirable cross-reactivity (this can be reduced by immunizing with a peptide-based antigen targeting a defined epitope);
  • continued production of antibody requires continued immunization of the host, as a result the binding characteristics of the antibodies obtained can change over time;
  • no ability to isolate epitope-specific antibodies.

Learn more about polyclonal antibody development.

Ready to Get Started?

For questions or a quote from one of our scientists, submit your project details below. We will respond within two business days. If you require immediate assistance, call us at (800) 824-8540.