Fortis Life Sciences leads the way in custom antibody discovery


This article is sponsored by Fortis Life Sciences.

In the ever-evolving landscape of therapeutic development, the role of antibodies has become increasingly apparent. Antibodies are used as therapeutics, components of therapeutics such as antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) and CAR-T cells, and as companion diagnostic tools. Fortis Life Sciences offers custom antibody discovery and manufacturing services for antibodies and single-domain antibodies, supporting the drug discovery market.

Custom antibodies for R&D and companion diagnostics
Full-length antibodies and related molecules such as single domain antibodies/VHH differ in size and structure. Created with

Fortis Life Sciences specialises in providing custom antibodies validated for the specific needs of each customer. Custom antibodies play a crucial role in advancing R&D by facilitating the study of novel biomarkers, therapeutic targets, and their functions, where an off-the-shelf antibody may not be available.

Moreover, custom antibodies are a key reagent in companion diagnostics for these novel therapeutics. When working with a novel therapeutic, the tools you need to monitor its activity likely do not exist off the shelf. Custom antibodies can be developed for pharmacokinetic assays and biodistribution assays, supporting therapeutic development by giving researchers data about the behaviour of their novel therapeutic in vivo.

Fortis has over 50 years of experience generating antibodies to a variety of complex targets, including anti-idiotype antibodies1. Anti-idiotype antibodies are critical for the development and validation of antibody-based biologics, CAR therapies including CAR T cells, and VHH. Fortis can also generate antibodies against small molecule drugs, and cell surface, secreted and intracellular targets including proteins that have undergone post-translational modifications.

Our entire manufacturing process is done in-house, making it customisable from start to finish. We can produce monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies and can modify the formulation to meet your exact needs, including your choice of concentration, conjugation to a fluorophore or enzyme, buffer, and carrier-free options. Whatever your target and application, our scientists partner closely with your team to validate an antibody for your specific assay and its unique requirements.

Learn more about our custom monoclonal antibody manufacturing services and get in touch with our team.

Single-domain antibodies: A versatile tool for protein engineering

Single-domain antibodies, also known as VHH, are gaining momentum in therapeutic development. These antibodies are derived from the variable domain of camelid heavy-chain antibodies.

Indeed, therapeutics based on single-domain antibodies are already making their way through the clinical development pipeline for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and rare diseases. Caplacizumab, for the treatment of a rare blood clotting disease, achieved FDA approval in 20192. Nearly 20 other single-domain antibody-based therapeutics, including biologics and CAR-T cells, have reached clinical trials for diseases such as arthritis, leukemia, lymphoma, lung cancer and RSV3. Earlier in the pipeline, preclinical studies have shown the efficacy of a trispecific VHH-based molecule against Covid-194.

Single-domain antibodies offer several advantages over traditional antibodies. Their small size of approximately 15 kDa allows them to bind epitopes that are hidden or otherwise inaccessible to full-length antibodies. They are useful building blocks for engineering multivalent or multispecific therapeutic molecules with multiple recognition motifs. Fortis enables our customers to leverage VHH in their development pipeline by providing VHH discovery services to support the development of novel therapeutic agents with these unique properties.

Learn more about the advantages of using single-domain antibodies and reach out to our team.

Our brands: Bethyl Laboratories and Abcore®

Two companies under the Fortis Life Sciences umbrella —Bethyl Laboratories and Abcore— support custom antibody discovery and manufacturing.

Custom antibody manufacturing at Bethyl

With a focus on antibody manufacturing, Bethyl’s offerings span a wide range of research areas, including cancer biology, immuno-oncology, and cardiovascular biology. Researchers can rely on Bethyl’s antibodies for their quality and reproducibility. Bethyl scientists will partner with your team to develop a bespoke antibody for your target and assay.

VHH discovery at Abcore

Abcore specialises in single-domain antibody discovery services and performs the entire discovery process in-house, from immunisation to delivery of your sequence. Abcore’s proprietary processes can be used to isolate binders with your preferred selectivity, affinity and other characteristics, based on the requirements you discuss with our scientists upon project initiation.

Partner with Fortis Life Sciences

Fortis partners with diagnostics and life sciences companies to design, validate and manufacture solutions to solve their complex development problems. Through the expertise of our companies Bethyl and Abcore, Fortis is driving advancements in antibody-based therapeutics, paving the way for more targeted and effective treatment options.

View all of our offerings for the therapeutics and diagnostics markets.



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