Recombinant antibodies have become one of the most successful biological reagents for many applications. In a nutshell, they are monoclonal antibodies produced in recombinant expression systems such as bacterial, yeast, insect, plant, or mammalian cells. These cell lines are extremely versatile, allowing the production of antibodies in animal-free media (i.e. serum) and a fast scale-up of production without sacrificing yield and purity.
Therapeutic antibodies and many diagnostic antibodies (those integrated into medical devices or used for in vitro diagnostics) are typically produced in recombinant expression systems. However, research antibodies are still only sparsely produced using recombinant technologies and many are still natively produced in hybridomas.
Recent studies have shown that native production in hybridomas may be hindering the standardization of these reagents. Many hybridoma cell lines are prone to genetic drift often resulting in the irreversible loss of antibody-encoding genes. Other studies have also shown that some hybridomas may carry additional light or heavy chains, resulting in a lower purity of the resulting monoclonal antibodies.
For these reasons, many experts are urging us to adopt recombinant antibodies in research as they bypass the most important pitfalls of monoclonal antibody production. The most important benefits of using recombinant antibodies in research, therapy, and diagnostics include:
The use of recombinant antibody production processes presents many advantages. These antibodies can easily overcome the most common pitfalls of monoclonal antibody production. Moreover, they are expected to minimize inconsistencies in immunoassays and allow a greater level of standardization in this field.