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We are excited to have the opportunity to connect and interact with our loyal customers on our new blog. Our intent is not to announce new products and services, but instead to discuss in detail some of the research questions our customers might find interesting or research news that might impact those doing research with antibodies.

Ascites Production is the most effective way of generating highly specific monoclonal antibodies in large quantities. Since Abcore has just finished construction on our brand new, state of the art ascites production facilities, we thought it would be a good time to explain more about what ascites production is and how it can used in antibody research.

This is a big day for Abcore. We are excited to release our own line of catalog antibodies. After working hard to build our reputation offering the highest quality custom antibody production services, we are starting to release catalog antibodies for purchase by end users.

Abcore is in the process of transitioning our packaging materials to minimize waste. This was a concern we have wanted to address since our founding, and we finally found the best solution. We have been using industry standard insulated foam inner boxes, packing peanuts, and surrounded by an outer corrugated cardboard box. While this works well, it is a large amount of packaging and materials for sending out small, microliter volumes of antibodies.

To accompany the introduction of our llama antibody service we will be running this llama antibody blog. The first installment covers some of the differences seen in llama heavy chain antibodies.

One of the questions we get asked more than any other, is if the immunizing peptides used for a given antibody is available for purchase to be used in a competition assay or blocking assay. As useful as these are, few companies make them available for purchase. Luckily, Everest is one of the companies that do make their immunizing peptides available for purchase. Abcore now stocks the majority of these synthesized peptides in our San Diego facilities for immediately shipment to end users throughout North America.

To accompany the introduction of our llama antibody service we will be running this llama antibody blog.The last blog gave a quick introduction to llama antibodies, mainly:

EXBIO is offering an exciting promotion to complement the release of their PE-Cy™5 and PerCP-Cy™5.5 Antibodies. If you order any PE-Cy™5 or PerCP-Cy™5.5 conjugate, you can choose 25 tests of another PE-Cy™5 or PerCP-Cy™5.5 conjugated antibody, respectively, for free. Please find a list of our PE-Cy™5 and PerCP-Cy™5.5 products listed below.

In a previous blog post, we provided An Introduction to Ascites Production. Here we are going to expand on that post by discussing some of the reasons you would chose ascites production in mice for production of monoclonal antibodies. Briefly, after an immunogen is injected into a mouse, a cell line is harvested from the spleen which is capable of producing a single antibody. This cell line is fused with a tumor cell line and thus immortalized, creating a hybridoma.

A lot can happen in 310 million years. That’s the length of time, the phylogenetic distance, which separates humans and chickens from our most recent common ancestor [1].

Abcore is excited to partner with our newest US Hub partner, Lunginnov. Lunginnov is an innovative company focused on developing and commercializing solutions to study and diagnose endothelial dysfunction. They have a variety of laboratory reagents including monoclonal antibodies, ELISA kits, and recombinant proteins. Located in France, Lunginnov was founded in 2009 and is located at Campus de l’Institut Pasteur de Lille (Lille, North of France).

A new circulating biomarker of sepsis has been found (De Freitas Caires et al. 2013) at the Pasteur Institute of Lille in France. This novel biomarker is a 14 kDa fragment of Endocan specifically cleaved by the neutrophil-derived serine protease cathepsin G, and called “CG-cleaved endocan” (see figure below).

 

SUCCESS! All of us at Abcore have experience in the antibody sector of the biotech field, but we were all a little nervous for our first big shows with our new company. We exhibited at FASEB Experimental Biology 2012 in San Diego and PEGS 2012 in Boston. Our first Abcore booth and our fist Abcore exhibits were a tremendous success! First we can talk about the shows, and then we can talk about the food!

Abcore has just finished adding over 300 new antibody categories to our website. These new categories are mostly functional categories, based on the known functionality of the antibody. A few of the new categories are based on the properties of the antibody, like conjugated antibodies or tested application. All of our antibodies have been categorized under this new system.

The entire Abcore team took a break and had a fantastic time sport fishing. We went on a half day fishing trip chartered out of Fisherman’s Landing in Point Loma, San Diego. Most of the fish caught were Rockfish. It was great to get out of the office, talk about the long term goals of Abcore, and reflect on what we have accomplished so far.

The word “antibody” is as highly recognizable as it is misunderstood. Those that make a living in the biotechnology field, biological sciences, and research have a firm grasp on antibodies (in general and in specifics) while others may ask “what is an antibody?” With such a general question begs many specific and formal answers that may lead to seemingly never-ending discussions on immunity, antigens, and sub-unit chains forming a Y shape. Furthermore, mono-clonals vs poly-clonals and heavy vs light chains can provide a level of detail that can send any non-biological mind in a tailspin. A good starting point when discussing antibodies or explaining their unique role in biological research is to start at the very beginning: with the first antibody.

People are usually quite surprised when they learn that we have a promotion for custom rabbit antibody production for academic labs priced at only $395. We call it our $395 custom antibody special. Usually people quickly follow up by asking where we do our production, and ask about the cost of peptide synthesis (which is included). So we thought we would talk about why we do this promotion.

 

Spring conference season is in full swing. Abcore attended two Life Science Exhibits shows in San Francisco at the University of California, San Francisco, Mission Bay Campus on February 29, 2012, and the University of California, San Francisco, Parnassus Campus on March 1, 2012. Both were very well attended, and gave us a chance to debut our $395 Custom Antibody Special for university laboratories. We were happy to attend this show with representatives of Oxford Expression Technologies (OET) who came all the way from the United Kingdom to meet researchers at the world famous UCSF Medical School and talk about baculovirus expression. Of course, most important to many of our customers, it was also our first opportunity to give away our very popular Abcore stuffy mice.

To accompany the introduction of our llama antibody production service we will be publishing a series of blog posts focusing exclusively on llama antibodies (VHH). This is the third in the series, and the first 2 blogs are linked to at the end of this post.

One of the most frequent questions we receive when researchers learn we produce single domain antibodies in llamas is, “Aren’t llama antibodies patented?” Llamas have gained much notoriety lately because they produce some of the smallest antibodies produced by any animal host. Approximately half of the antibodies produced by members of the Camelid family (which includes llamas and camels) are encompassed of only a single heavy chain. This lack of light chain in these types of antibodies is responsible for their small size and play a unique role in the biotechnology world. Also known as VHH antibodies, these single domain antibodies have a molecular weight of only 12-15 kDa, compared to 150-160 kDa for a normal antibody. Raymond Hamers is credited with this discovery in 1989 at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Along with Serge Muyldermans, Jan Steyaert, and Lode Wyns, Raymond Hamers was able to pioneer the technology required to isolate and identify certain antigen specific heavy chain only camelid antibodies.

In 2012, Brian K. Kolbika and Robert J. Lefkowitz were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their investigation of G-Protein Coupled Receptors. Kolbika and Lefkowitz did extensive studies that allow us an understanding of the molecular mechanism of how G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) work.

As many people know, antibodies can be categorized as either polyclonal or monoclonal. While both have their relative strengths and weaknesses, the monoclonal antibody holds bragging rights for the newest technology of the two. Monoclonal, or one clone, antibodies are typically in solution comprised of many antibodies all of the same identical formulation and structure. Because of this, monoclonals are able to bind to a single domain on an antigen. All of the antibodies in the solution are identical and thus all have affinity for the exact same binding motif.