Pioneering joint venture releases 58 of 200 planned, highly-specific recombinant antibodies


Life Technologies has signed a collaborative partnership with the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), and several groups of leading expert scientists in antibody technology at the Universities of Chicago and Toronto, to generate a first-ever master set of quality epigenetic recombinant antibodies for use in disease-related research.  The first 58 of 200 highly-specific antibodies to be designed are now available to the scientific community.

Epigenetic regulatory proteins are involved in a wide variety of chronic diseases, such as cancer, and are the target of an explosive new field of drug discovery.  The ability to properly study most epigenetic changes, which determine which genes are "turned off and on," are determined by the effectiveness of one critical tool -- antibodies.  A lack of industry-wide standards for quality antibodies, however, has plagued the field for years and resulted in an influx of products on the market that do not perform as advertised.  The recombinant antibodies produced from the Life Technologies/SGC partnership address this important issue.

"The partnership is prepared to produce a set of 200 highly-specific, highly-sensitive antibodies that are validated for specific applications," says Dr. Aled Edwards, Director and CEO of SGC. "These 58 now being launched are the first step toward developing the defacto standard set of quality epigenetics antibodies that researchers can use for generations to come."

The recombinant antibodies are being developed by Life Technologies in partnership with the SGC, which comprises a network of more than 200 scientists from the University of Toronto and Oxford University, as well as six pharmaceutical companies, which include AbbVie, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer and Takeda.  These recombinant antibodies are renewable, meaning they are identical in performance from one lot to the next.  They are validated for consistent performance across applications for which they are intended, including immunoprecipitation.  This represents a significant improvement over existing antibodies in the market today.

Validation data and community reviews of the 58 recombinant antibodies can be found on Life Technologies' website and on 1DegreeBio.org, the world's largest open-access antibody database.  The release of the new epigenetics-targeted antibodies coincides with the launch of 1DegreeBio's new Epigenetics Portal, where epigenetics researchers can find targets, tools and product-data specific to their research.

"These reagents reflect a strong commitment from both public and private partners to address a long-standing quality issue in the community," says Alex Hodgson, Managing Director of 1DegreeBio.  "1DegreeBio is excited to support these and future reagents, and be the venue to measure their impact."

"The availability of high-quality research tools, such as Life Technologies' antibodies, will enable scientists to explore this completely new layer of biology and push the boundaries of our understanding of human disease, and facilitate the discovery of novel therapeutic targets," said Mark Stevenson, President and COO of Life Technologies.  "Our partnership with SGC in this pioneering endeavor demonstrates Life Technologies' commitment to provide the most innovative products that meet the needs of the global scientific community."

About The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC)
Located at the Universities of Toronto and Oxford, the not-for-profit organization supports the discovery of new medicines by carrying out open access research in structural and chemical biology.  More than 200 researchers in academia and in six pharmaceutical companies collaborate within SGC to accomplish these goals.  The SGC is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Genome Canada, the Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Wellcome Trust, AbbVie, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer and Takeda.  More information is available at www.thesgc.org.