More than one hundred scientists have cosigned a letter to the journal Nature calling for standardization of antibodies used in research. The authors cited a study conducted in 2008 that found that only around half of six thousand commercial antibodies in common use bound solely to their intended targets. The authors stated that, worldwide, this results in $800 billion in wasted resources, or half of the total annual spending on antibodies and other binding reagents, on “bad” antibodies and other binding reagents. They proposed that researchers use recombinant versions of these products, with all such reagents defined by DNA sequence. The authors asserted that production of recombinant antibodies for research would be profitable but that the transition will require substantial investment in developing technology by public-funding agencies in North America, Europe and Asia. They estimated that producing recombinant binding reagents targeting the products of all human genes would cost $1 billion.

Source: Nature

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