EVENTS | VIEW CALENDAR
First proposal of strategies for validating antibody specificity
STOCKHOLM, Sweden—The International Working Group on Antibody Validation (IWGAV), an independent group of international scientists with diverse research interests in the field of protein biology, announced recently the publication of initial strategies developed to address a critical unmet need for antibody specificity, functionality and reproducibility in the September online issue of Nature Methods.
The IWGAV is reportedly the first initiative of its size and scope to establish strategic recommendations for antibody validation for both antibody producers and users. Thermo Fisher Scientific provided financial support to the IWGAV in 2015 to spearhead the development of industry standards and help combat the common challenges associated with antibody specificity and reproducibility.
Although antibodies are among the most frequently used tools in scientific research, there is not a comprehensive scientific framework for the validation of antibody specificity across research applications. The use of poorly characterized antibodies has been estimated to cost $350 million each year in the United States alone and $800 million worldwide as a result of failed or unreliable experiments.
“This publication is an important first step towards the development of widely accepted standards for validating antibodies and ensuring high-quality and consistent antibodies for biomedical research,” said Dr. Mathias Uhlén, a professor of microbiology at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and chair of the IWGAV. “We look forward to receiving feedback from the broader community of antibody users, publishers, funding agencies and producers to help strengthen this initial proposal and ensure the reliability of these essential tools of biomedical research.”
The IWGAV identified five “conceptual pillars” to guide antibody validation in specific research applications:
While each of these conceptual pillars may provide evidence of antibody specificity, the IWGAV recommends multiple pillars be used to claim a particular antibody has been well validated for use in a specific application.