Exploring Antibody Validation Approaches with AbVal meeting speakers: Miltenyi Biotec


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In this blog:

  • We speak with Andreas Bosio, Head of Molecular Technologies & Stem Cell Therapy at Miltenyi Biotec, on the company’s antibody validation approach
  • We are taken through their application-specific strategy and how they approach validating antibodies for use in platforms
  • We reflect on Andreas Bosio’s talk at the 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting

This September we hosted the 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting in partnership with the University of Bath, following a COVID-induced hiatus.

The meeting was a fantastic coming-together of minds across multiple industries deeply involved in antibody validation: academia, pharma/biotech and antibody suppliers. With 100 attendees from around the world, it was eye-opening to hear from experts in the antibody space over the course of the three days.

To reflect on the meeting and the themes that emerged from its discussions, today we speak with AbVal meeting speakers Miltenyi Biotec about their validation processes which Andreas Bosio, Head of Molecular Technologies & Stem Cell Therapy at Miltenyi, presented on at the conference.

An overview: Miltenyi Biotec’s antibody validation approach

Miltenyi posits that there are many factors that need to be considered when evaluating the quality of an antibody, such as its source, specificity, and overall performance for a given application.

Since these and many more factors can influence the results of an experiment, they strive to deeply characterize antibodies at all levels.

To do so, they focus on three strategies:

  1. Relying on highly controlled recombinant antibody expression
  2. Employing multiple methods of antibody specificity interrogation
  3. Application-specific validation for antibody conjugates

All three of these points also came through strongly during discussions at the antibody validation meeting.

Harnessing these strategies, they focus on validating their antibodies for platforms to provide end-to-end workflow solutions. Such platforms include the (MACSima™ Platform), cleared-tissue 3D imaging (UltraMicroscope™ Platform), flow cytometry (MACSQuant® Analyzer), cell sorting (MACSQuant® Tyto® Cell Sorter) and cell separation (MACS® Cell Separation).

At the AbVal meeting, Andreas Bosio spoke on their MACSima platform, used in spatial biology to visualise hundreds of markers. The issue of validation becomes even more important in this context due to the use of multiple antibodies simultaneously.

How does Miltenyi’s antibody validation work in practice?

Methods that Miltenyi use for validation testing include knock-out validation (an often favoured pillar of antibody validation, as proposed by Uhlen et al.), as well as epitope competition assays.

They employ complementary quality testing methods to demonstrate antibody specificity. In addition, they test antibody sensitivity by evaluating the performance of products against established clones in the field. You can find out more on their website.

Miltenyi provides the application-specific validation data they’ve collected, covering applications such as flow cytometry and IHC.

An example that demonstrates efforts to validate antibodies for their platforms is the testing of antibody conjugates for 3D-immunofluoresecence, aka cleared-tissue 3D imaging using the light sheet microscope, the UltraMicroscope Blaze™. This technology allows epitope labeling and imaging of entire organs and even entire organisms such as mice to map localization in 3D. Such experiments require antibody labeling durations of up to three weeks per sample, meaning validation can save valuable testing efforts and time for researchers.

What does the future look like?

When we asked Miltenyi what they considered to be the most important challenges in antibody validation facing the field in the future, they answered:

‘It is important to recognize that the best antibody for one method is not always the best for another type of assay. Therefore, it is critical to keep pace with multiple techniques as well as the markers and validation data that they require, even if this involves resource-intensive testing. Although this could be seen as a challenge, it is also extremely exciting and rewarding to participate in supporting researchers as they expand the boundaries of what is known.’

Interested in learning more?

If you’re interested in learning more about antibody validation strategies such as the one discussed in the blog, the challenges in the field, and new technologies harnessing the power of antibodies, check out the antibody validation meeting website. Selected talks from the event will be released here shortly.

This blog adds to a series exploring supplier antibody validation approaches. We previously spoke to Cell Signaling Technology and Thermo Fisher Scientific, who also gave talks at the AbVal meeting. Do check back on our blog as we continue to reflect on the themes from Antibody Validation Meeting and learn more about validation approaches across the industry.

  • Skye and the CiteAb team
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