Resources Blog Pros and Cons of Using Monoclonal Antibodies

Pros and Cons of Using Monoclonal Antibodies

Biointron 2024-01-20 Read time: 3 mins
MAbs.jpg
Image credit: The Wellcome Trust

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are immunoglobulins obtained from single cloned homogeneous hybrid cells (B lymphocyte cells). This is done by fusing spleen cells of an antigen-exposed mouse with human or mouse myeloma cells, then cloning the hybridomas to produce the desired single antibody clone. 

They are used for diagnosis and treatment in various therapeutic areas, including cancer, infectious viral, and bacterial diseases. mAbs can bind to pathogens to reduce their capability to infect new cells, or bind to receptors of microbes, abnormal cells, and proteins, thus preventing escalation of the disease-state and subsequent infections.1 However, mAbs have several pros and cons when being considered for research. 

Pros 

  • Binds with high specificity due to being products of a single clone, and most mAbs do not show cross-reactivity. 

  • Multiple uses (incl. diagnostic assays, therapies) and treats a wide range of conditions. 

  • Hybridoma cells which produce mAbs are perpetual sources of antibodies with the same specificity and sensitivity. 

  • Can be used with or without purification. 

  • Very useful for conjugation to different probes as their homogenous chemical nature can be characterized easily. 

  • Side effects of mAb drugs can be treated through optimization, such as humanization or affinity maturation, or by using antibody fractions.

Cons 

  • More expensive than polyclonal antibodies. 

  • Production requires both in vivo and in vitro systems due to laborious process of producing immortalized hybridoma cell lines. 

  • Skilled and trained workers are essential. 

  • Potential adverse effects when used in therapeutics if human anti-monoclonal antibody (HAMA) response is triggered. 

  • Due to its homogeneity, mAbs are vulnerable to degradation because of the shared susceptibility among all antibody molecules within the solution. 

At Biointron, we are dedicated to accelerating your antibody discovery, optimization, and production needs. Our team of experts can provide customized solutions that meet your specific research needs. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help accelerate your research and drug development projects.


References: 

  1. Singh, A., Chaudhary, S., Agarwal, A., & Verma, A. S. (2014). Antibodies: Monoclonal and Polyclonal. Animal Biotechnology, 265-287. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-416002-6.00015-8 

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