Monday, November 3, 2014

Should vendors validate antibodies before they are sold?

We recently had a chance to sit down with a few of the Antibody Engineering and Therapeutics speakers to get an inside look into what they're working on and insights into their work.  We start this interview series off with Dr. David Rimm, a Professor of Pathology and Director, Yale Pathology Tissue Services and Yale University School of Medicine.

Today, he starts of by answering the question:
What do we need to validate antibodies? Shouldn’t the vendors do this before they sell them?
Dr. Rimm: Well, in the best of all possible worlds perhaps they would. In fact, some vendors do very rigorous validation while other vendors validate almost not at all. So, if all vendors did very rigorous validation, we would not need to validate antibodies. We could just trust that what it said on the label and the spec sheet is actually what was going to happen in our research laboratories or in the clinical setting. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Since the vendor’s responsibility is really to their shareholders or their owners to generate revenue – not necessarily to make a biologically good product – some vendors pay a lot more attention to making the product good, whereas other vendors pay a lot more attention to making money.

And to follow, we asked:
Is validation the same for all applications?
No. This is a very important point. Validation is application specific. That is, validation for a Western blot or for an ELISA assay is very different than validation for immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence. While validation may work across different applications, each application – because of the epitope or because of the antigen – may be in a different state in that application and requires its own methods and its own protocols for validation.

Dr. Rimm will be presenting Use and Abuse of Antibodies in Research and the Clinic on Tuesday, December 9.  For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda. As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us December 8-12, 2014, in Huntington Beach, California and mention code XD14172BLOGJP, you can save 20% off the standard rates.

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