Lots of companies offer custom antibody services. How do you identify the cream of the crop?
Contributed by Amy Archuleta
We are proud of our antibodies and our team. Here are some primary points to consider when in the market for a custom antibody, and details on how PhosphoSolutions strives to exceed your expectations.
Look for expertise in your area of study.
Seek out the history of the antibody company. What is their focus and background? Who are their scientists? PhosphoSolutions has proud roots in the study of phosphorylation in the neuroscience field. We were founded in 2001 by three professors who worked together in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Greengard - co-recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on the role of protein phosphorylation in signal transduction in the nervous system. Our founders’ passion for neuroscience and expertise in phosphorylation is still alive today in our custom antibody service. With more than 3 decades of experience in producing phosphospecific antibodies, the PhosphoSolutions team is well-equipped to handle difficult proteins. That’s our specialty.
What is the fee structure of the custom antibody package?
It is important to be aware of what is included in a custom antibody package. Do you supply the immunizing antigen or will they develop it? Will you receive serum or purified antibody? There are many steps in the production of a custom antibody, so make sure that there are no hidden fees or extra costs for additional services. PhosphoSolutions’ custom antibody service includes everything from antigen design and immunization to antibody production and bleed screening, to multiple affinity purification rounds, to characterization of the antibody in Western blot and ELISA. There are no additional costs for any part of the antibody development process.
Learn about the antibody production procedure.
There are many different philosophies and practices when it comes to antibody production and immune response optimization. Some companies employ a limited boost and bleed schedule, which can miss the mark – and the best antibody. After the initial immunization protocol, PhosphoSolutions continues to boost the animals over time to maximize the response. Antibodies purified from early bleeds can be evaluated while the animals continue receiving boosts to ensure the production of antibodies with the highest titer and yield possible. All bleeds are screened in order to identify the bleeds with the strongest and cleanest signal. These select bleeds are then pooled together so that each additional purification of antibody is from the same starting material. This maximizes signal and reproducibility in your system.
Learn about the antibody design and purification procedure.
There is a lot of science involved with the development of a custom antibody. It is important to hire a company with experience. Antigen design is the crucial first hurdle. The sequence of the immunizing peptide is one of the primary factors in antibody specificity, and PhosphoSolutions has decades of experience in finding the optimal sequence of amino acids to use as the antigen. After bleed collection, the purification step must also be handled with care. Phosphospecific antibodies greatly benefit from sequential chromatography, using the phospho and dephospho peptides for first positive and then negative selection. PhosphoSolutions’ founders developed a novel phosphospecific antibody purification method that we still use today!
Be aware of customer support levels.
The quantity and quality of support you receive after you sign on the dotted line can vary. It could be very frustrating if the last thing you hear from your company is the tracking info on your serum or antibody shipment. PhosphoSolutions goes above and beyond to truly work with you on a collaborative basis. We use your feedback on the antibody’s utility in your hands to help support our internal efforts to fully characterize the antibody. You will work directly with the scientist who created your antibody to optimize your signal and your success!PhosphoSolutions takes a great deal of pride in our Antibodies that Work – both in our catalog and in our custom service.