Posted on September 18, 2015

AvantGen, a leader in novel antibody discovery and engineering, in collaboration with SISCAPA Assay Technologies (SAT), was awarded a SBIR Phase II contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop high-affinity, anti-peptide rabbit monoclonal antibodies for mass-spectrometry-based cancer biomarker detection and quantification assays, or so called SISCAPA (Stable Isotope Standards and Capture by Anti-Peptide Antibodies) assays.

Antibodies with high affinity and specificity suitable for cancer biomarker measurements are essential, since there are more than 2,000 potential biomarkers that have been discovered, but only about 100 of them are currently approved by the FDA for clinical diagnostic use.

Prior to this Phase II contract, AvantGen successfully completed a Phase I contract (HHSN261201300023C) using its novel rabbit monoclonal antibody generation platform which enables AvantGen to isolate the highest affinity antibody clones from an immunized rabbit with the desired specificity for the target peptide antigen.  All of the rabbit monoclonal antibody clones developed during Phase I exhibit very high affinity (10-10 to 10-11 M) and specificity for their respective antigens.

AvantGen’s technology bypasses the low efficiency of fusion between antibody-producing cells (B cells) and myeloma used with hybridoma technologies. Fusion is particularly inefficient with rabbit myeloma lines with an estimated fusion rate of 1 in 1 million. The isolated antibodies with AvantGen’s technology will be sequenced and expressed in mammalian cell systems, therefore also overcome the instability and low antibody yield issues of rabbit monoclonal antibody cell lines

The Phase II contract (HHSN261201500044C) will support the development of novel rabbit monoclonal antibodies against 100 additional peptides derived from cancer biomarkers.  The developed antibodies will be evaluated in SISCAPA assay.

SISCAPA combines antibody-based peptide enrichment with quantitative mass spectrometry to provide accurate quantitation of target proteins. The assay requires high affinity and highly specific antibodies and enables measurements of biomarkers from biological samples with unprecedented precision and throughput.

AvantGen is also providing services to generate high quality rabbit monoclonal antibody research reagents for the research community.

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