The development of monoclonal antibody (MAb) therapeutics (link to Wikipedia page) is one of the largest and most important areas in biomedical research today and is continuing to grow rapidly. For example, according to one report I found, titled, Trends in Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibody Discovery Technology (Dr. David Meininger, Department of Protein Sciences, Merck & Co., Inc., Palo Alto, CA), “With 2012 mAb (and mAb-derivative) market sales estimated to total roughly $50 billion and the compound annual growth rate for this market estimated to exceed 8% through 2016…”
Here are two recent articles discussing the challenges and possible solutions for speeding up MAb manufacturing.
This article discusses how the emergence of single-use technologies in manufacturing of biotechnology products has drastically reshaped current methods in the production and downstream processing of antibody therapies. It analyses the advantages of using a large disposable stirred tank bioreactor for cell culture manufacturing needs. (This bioreactor features single-use sterile contact surfaces for venting, sparging, mixing, and temperature sensing.) The authors also examine “the progress made in antibody production as well as discuss the future of manufacturing for these molecules, including the emergence of single use technologies.”
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This article describes a high-throughput, cost-effective method for top-down protein characterization. Variations in physiochemical properties within proteins, can greatly affect signal intensities when measured with a mass spectrometer. These peptides are known as proteotypic if they are unique to a protein, and are able to be accurately detected and quantified. This article describes a fast and cost-effective method for identifying optimal proteotypic peptides and their fragmentation patterns. By using a Thermo Scientific Vantage triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, researchers were able to derive proteotypic peptides for 98% of their target proteins.
You can also check out the Monoclonal Antibody Characterization page on our website for related application notes, posters, publications, and tips and tricks.
Let us know future topics for more blog posts on MAbs in the Comments box below. We look forward to hearing from you!