Vertebrate Antibodies Limited (VAL)
Name of the laboratory
- Vertebrate Antibodies Limited
- Zoology Building
- Tillydrone Avenue
- Aberdeen AB24 2TZ
- United Kingdom
- Unit Leaders
Ayham Alnabulsi firstname.lastname@example.org
Beatriz Cash email@example.com
Steve Bird firstname.lastname@example.org
Vertebrate Antibodies Limited (VAL) is a biotech spinout company from the University of Aberdeen with a focus on the development of antibodies to targets for a wide range of organisms for research and clinical applications. VAL supports the life sciences community by providing and developing a large range of high quality antibodies.
VAL’s main strength lies in the use of short synthetic peptides as immunogens for generating monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Once a target of interest is identified, prediction algorithms, developed by VAL’s research team, are used to select suitable peptides to serve as immunogens. The peptides identified correspond to regions of the protein target that are unique, localised on accessible sections and will elicit an immune response. The unique stretch of the synthetic peptides is approximately 10 amino acids long (sometimes shorter), which is believed to be the shortest length for an active immunogen. Based on these criteria, the number of potential epitopes to generate the antibodies is very limited, resulting in highly specific mAbs research reagents. Using this approach, VAL antibodies can target specific protein isoforms, post-translational modifications and even single amino acid changes. Furthermore, the peptides can be selected to cross-react with other research models to widen their range of applications.
1) Clinical antibody production platform.
The high specificity of antibodies for their target proteins has resulted in them becoming a crucial component for advancing life science research and clinical practice. VAL focuses on developing mAbs specific for novel targets implicated in the process of tumour transformation and progression. The specificity of the antibodies is determined by western blotting using lysates from cells expressing protein of interest. The antibodies are screened by immunohistochemistry against a human tissue microarray containing the 19 major types of tumours matched with normal samples. This approach reveals potential cancer specific markers. The mAbs against these potential cancer markers are further screened on a large tissue microarray to define their prognostic, diagnostic, treatment predictive and therapeutic usefulness.
2) Development of immunoassays towards commercial species.
Recently, there has been a steady increase in research on commercially important species (for example in the aquaculture industry) to support a growth in market demand from a growing human population. VAL is dedicated to generating mAbs towards key host and pathogen targets to advance research and aid the development of immunoassays to monitor diseases and vaccine performance in veterinary and farmed species ensuring the sustainability of these industries.
It is worth noting that due to their superior specificity and reproducibility, VAL primarily produces monoclonal antibodies rather than polyclonal antibodies. This approach also reduces the use of animals for the generation of antibodies.
- Peptide design
- Monoclonal antibody production in mice
- Antibody characterisation
- Immunological techniques including immunoprecipitation, western blotting and IHC
- Antibody purification
- Antibody conjugation
- Swan R, Alnabulsi AA, Cash B, Alnabulsi A & Murray GI (submitted). Characterisation of the oxysterol metabolising enzyme pathway in mismatch repair proficient and deficient colorectal cancer.
- Yoon S, Alnabulsi A, Wang TY, Potsang L, Zou J & Secombes CJ (summited). Functional expression profile of interferon gamma in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and immunocharacterization of anti-zebrafish IFN-γ monoclonal antibody.
- Brown GT, Cash B, Alnabulsi A, Samuel LM & Murray GI (2015). The expression and prognostic significance of bcl-2-associated transcription factor 1 in rectal cancer following neoadjuvant therapy. Histopathology, vol 68, no. 4, pp. 556-566.
- Yoon S, Mitra S, Wyse C, Alnabulsi A, Zou J, Weerdenburg EM, van der Sar AM, Wang D, Secombes CJ, Bird S (2015). First Demonstration of Antigen Induced Cytokine Expression by CD4-1+ Lymphocytes in a Poikilotherm: Studies in Zebrafish (Danio rerio). PLos One 10.1371/journal.pone.0126378.
- Brown GT, Cash H, Blihoghe D, Johansson P, Alnabulsi A & Murray, GI (2014). The expression and prognostic significance of retinoic acid metabolising enzymes in colorectal cancer. PLoS ONE, vol 9, no. 3, e90776.
- CroatiaStipan JonjicUniversity of Rijeka
- DenmarkJakub Z. KaczmarekSanovo Biotech A/S
- FranceAndré PèlegrinInstitut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier, IRCM
- FranceArmand BensussanHôpital Saint Louis
- FrancePierre LafayeInstitut Pasteur
- GermanyFriedrich Koch-NolteUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
- HungaryJohanna SymmonsEnglish & Scientific Consulting Kft. (SCICONS)
- HungaryPeter BaloghClinical Center, University of Pecs
- ItalyFabio MalavasiUniversity of Torino Medical School
- RussiaAlexander TaraninInstitute of Molecular and Cellular Biology
- RussiaAlexander FilatovInstitute of Immunology
- SloveniaVladka Čurin ŠerbecBlood Trasfusion Centre of Slovenia
- SpainGiovanna RoncadorCentro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas
- SpainJosé I. Rodríguez BarbosaEdificio Nuevos Institutos de Investigación
- SpainLeonor KremerCentro Nacional de Biotecnología/CSIC
- SpainNúria PascualInstitute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC)
- SpainPablo EngelFaculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University of Barcelona
- United KingdomUniversity of OxfordLRF Haemato-oncology Group
- United KingdomVertebrate Antibodies Limited (VAL)
- United KingdomKing's College LondonSt. John's Institute of Dermatology