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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

Alternatives to Animal Research and Testing

Alternatives to Ascites Production of Monoclonal Antibodies
by John McArdle, Ph.D.
Alternatives Research and Development Foundation
Eden Prairie, Minnesota

The Future Of MAb Production

If current trends continue, the use of animals to produce monoclonal antibodies will eventually be replaced with in vitro alternatives. Although still being refined, new recombinant biotechnology methods based on phage display and combinatorial antibody libraries have the potential to replace the use of animals and animal cells at all stages of the antibody production process, by eliminating the need for the initial immunization and subsequent formation and growth of the hybridoma cells.

These entirely in vitro, high technology approaches mimic and, in some cases, improve upon the natural immune system mechanisms. They accomplished this by creating large libraries of all possible antibodies, including those that would be difficult or impossible to prepare using standard immunization and MAb hybridoma techniques. This is particularly important for the production and use of human MAbs, which are not readily produced using ascites, but are easily derived from the use of recombinant techniques (3, 12, 25, 26).

At present these biotechnology approaches to antibody differentiation and production are not equivalent to or less expensive than ascites or in vitro hybridoma methods. They also require specialized knowledge and skills but will become more competitive and eventually the system of choice as the methodology is refined and developed into commercial kits suitable for use in small to large-scale laboratory applications.

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