This article is sponsored by Bethyl Laboratories.
For over 50 years, Bethyl Laboratories (now a Fortis Life Sciences brand) has been dedicated to improving lives by supporting scientific discovery through qualified antibody products and custom services. We are vertically-integrated from immunisation through manufacturing and validation. All of our antibodies are highly validated using six pillars of validation, meaning that our antibodies do what we say they’ll do. Our catalog of over 6,500+ primary antibodies, 1,200+ secondary antibodies, and 50+ ELISA kits includes reagents for multiplex IF, flow cytometry, and more in fields including immunology, oncology, and neuroscience. Or, you can collaborate with our scientists to develop a custom monoclonal or polyclonal antibody, or a custom IHC or multiplex IF assay.
Scientists purchase antibodies with the expectation that they will recognise their intended targets and produce reliable data, but the presence of improperly validated antibodies on the market can make this process both time-consuming and expensive. Target recognition and specificity is fundamental to ensuring the rigor and reproducibility of data generated by immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, and other assays that rely on antibodies.
Bethyl antibodies are highly regarded for passing strict validation testing before arriving in customer hands. The principles that have guided our rigorous validation practices for decades preceded a publication (Uhlen et al., A proposal for validation of antibodies. Nat Methods 2016 Oct;13(10):823-7) that describes five conceptual pillars for validating antibodies in an application – and context-specific manner. Multiple pillars are used in a complementary fashion to validate each antibody, and the pillars can be variable based on the unique biology of each target protein, or the reagents available for that project. At Bethyl, we have adapted many of the principles laid out in that publication to capture our expertise and experiences validating antibodies here, as listed below.
Pillars of validation:
- Pillar 1: Independent Antibodies. This pillar requires that two or more antibodies directed against different epitopes of a protein generate similar results.
- Pillar 2: Complementary Assays. This pillar requires that multiple, antibody-dependent assays produce complementary results.
- Pillar 3: Orthogonal Characteristics. This pillar requires that antibody-independent and antibody-dependent assays produce results that are correlative.
- Pillar 4: Biological Characteristics. This pillar takes advantage of the unique biology associated with some protein targets.
- Pillar 5: Protein OE/Epitope Tags. This pillar uses over-expressed (OE) proteins to validate antibodies against targets where we cannot identify a natively expressing cell line, or the protein is expressed at levels insufficient for detection.
- Pillar 6: Genetic Strategies. This pillar uses gene knockout or knockdown to reduce the levels of target protein available for detection.
Custom antibody development
For many of our clients, we realise that cutting-edge research requires custom solutions. Therefore, we are pleased to offer custom antibody development services, where our team of experienced scientists can ensure a successful outcome to projects across a wide range of applications.
We deliver a concierge service from the inception of project design, with built-in risk mitigation. We provide the antibodies at the required scale in accordance with our agreed-upon pricing and timelines. These are established only after detailed discussions with our technical team about your goals and requirements. We can also help you smoothly transition from polyclonal to monoclonal antibodies at any point in the project.
Recombinant monoclonal antibodies can be custom made to meet your project-specific requirements by our expert team. We generate numerous candidates for you to test in your assays and workflows ensuring the antibodies are effective in whatever application they’re being used. Our robust monoclonal antibody generation platform delivers large, diverse clone sets, enabling our partners to find fit-for-purpose monoclonal antibodies to suit their applications for 90% of projects.
We also offer many high-quality custom polyclonal antibody packages that are designed to suit a range of scientific needs within your budget. We specialise in custom peptide synthesis, immunisation, and polyclonal antibody production/purification to generate high-quality antibodies.
Our areas of expertise:
- Cell surface, secreted and intracellular targets
- Anti-idiotype antibodies
- Post-translational modifications (phospho-specific antibodies)
- Small molecules