27.05.2021 duration: 3 min

Why are recombinant antibodies the better choice? – All advantages!

There are several advantages of using recombinant antibodies in contrast to traditional monoclonal antibodies. This article will demonstrate that recombinant antibodies are the better choice. You will see plenty of strong reasons to choose recombinant antibodies over competing products. And we will pull occupations and persons that benefit from recombinant antibodies into the spotlight. 

Next, we will present you with a distillation of a recent Nature Methods article that reports staggering and alarming findings in the literature related to traditional antibodies. To conclude, we will show what recombinant antibody expression can do to alleviate those issues.

Advantages of recombinant antibodies

Antibodies generated by means of recombinant technology offer several key benefits over traditional methods:

  • Recombinant antibody production is plain fast. In contrast, traditional production of monoclonal antibodies using hybridoma cell lines is time consuming. Usually hybridoma projects progress on the scale of several months, whereas recombinant antibodies are oftentimes shipped within a few weeks.
  • Since recombinant technology enables antibody engineering using molecular biology techniques, the resulting antibodies show greater sensitivity and are highly specific compared to monoclonal antibodies derived from immunized animals.
  • Moreover, recombinant antibodies can be engineered to show affinity against non-immunogenic targets. Additionally, recombinant methods allow access to antibodies against toxic agents, which would outright kill an animal before any immune response. In such cases, traditional methods fail to raise relevant antibodies at all.
  • In addition, antibodies from recombinant expression systems are more reproducible and consistent. They do not suffer from erroneous gene losses, inadvertent gene mutations or cell-line drift, whereas these are common problems associated with hybridomas.
  • A most important consideration for industrial applications is scalability. A great antibody production method is next to worthless, if it cannot deliver on scale. Animal immunization potentially yields different antibodies for every specimen, hence the quality of product might vary from batch to batch. Contrastingly, molecular biology cell culture techniques are easily scalable to industry relevant plant sizes, while maintaining antibody integrity from batch to batch.

Interested in recombinant antibodies?

    Who needs recombinant antibodies?

    With the increasing availability of high quality antibodies, the range of important applications has broadened considerably in recent years. Various life-science and medicine related fields have a strong need for high quality recombinant antibodies. Examples are:

    • biotechnology companies that develop and produce innovative products
    • pharmaceutical companies researching and manufacturing novel therapeutics against viruses
    • patients that rely on highest quality antibodies as treatment for their condition.
    • physicians who use antibody based test kits and laboratory assays to diagnose their patients
    • radiologists that rely on antibody tracers to search for anomalies in patients’ bodies
    • scientists performing basic research in molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, pathology, protein-protein interactions

    Why are recombinant antibodies so popular?

    In short, the answer lies in recombinant antibodies advantages. Scientific progress has been exponentially increasing in recent years. Its need for increasingly specific tools and reagents is catered by the advent of recombinant technology.

    Molecular biology techniques and its applications to antibody expression in vitro brought numerous benefits to biotechnology, life-sciences and medicine.

    recombinant antibody advantages

    Evidence for growing popularity of recombinant antibodies

    A recent article in Nature Methods features the increasing popularity of recombinant antibodies.​1​

    The author highlights the fact that numerous older life-science publications, using catalogue antibodies derived from animals, suffer from reproducibility issues.

    As a staggering example, the article notes a series of 15 publications with almost 70,000 primary and secondary citations that focus on a protein that is believed to be involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.

    Unbelievably, many researchers used antibodies that were found to not show relevant affinity or specificity to the protein in question. This example reveals the dire need for easily available high quality recombinant antibodies in the research community.

    Subsequently, the author cites a report of the European Commission on the topic of antibodies. Antibodies can and should be produced without the use of animals, advises the EC report, and establishes that the obtained products are at least as well-performing as traditional antibodies.

    Recombinant antibody expression by evitria

    Within 11 years since its foundation in 2010, evitria has become a leading service provider for recombinant antibody expression in CHO cells with a track record of over 11,000 antibodies delivered.

    In addition, evitria has become efficient enough to be able to offer a record-setting five week time-scale and oftentimes finishes even faster. 

    Moreover, evitria enables its customers to access afucosylated antibodies through its exclusive licensing partnership to use ProBioGen’s GlymaxX (R) technology.

    When asked about their impression of evitria, its customers reported back that they value evitria for its speed of processing, quality and purity of products, efficiency and pleasantness of cooperation.

    1. 1.
      Marx V. Change-makers bring on recombinant antibodies. Nature Methods. Published August 2020. Accessed May 27, 2021. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41592-020-0915-8.pdf
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