Last week we had the pleasure of seeing many of you at the Third International Antibody Validation Meeting, and today we’re going to share some of the key themes that came out of the event.

Did you join us last week? You can see all of the photos from the event on our Facebook page – take a look and tag yourself.

This event is unique in the antibody calendar, bringing together leading researchers working in academia, the pharma/biotech industry and antibody suppliers to present their data on the validation of research antibodies. This generated essential debate about research reproducibility, with the aim of driving best practice and improving research antibody validation.

Some key themes emerged from the meeting, including:

The times they are a-changing

  • Since our last meeting two years ago, validation has come a long way. Talks from suppliers, pharma, researchers and academics demonstrated this in an impressive way and the event showed that by bringing the sector together to share best practice, significant advancements can take place.

Big isn’t always better

  • Some of the talks showed that small experimental details can make a very big difference to antibody performance, including dilution, fixative, temperature or the blocking membrane, and so it is not a case of there being bad or good antibodies – more how they are performing under the conditions being used.

Embed validation

  • Its key to embed validation in the correct biological model for the target being validated

Clonality debates continue

  • The debate about poly vs mono continues, our feeling is that monoclonals have advantages for simplifying production, but polyclonals will continue to be used by researchers and ultimately for end users the amount of validation is more important than its clonality.

Technologies are also changing

  • There are exciting new technical developments that open up new methods of validation and also new applications that will require modified approaches to validation. It will be exciting to see what has changed in another two years…

We need to continue this conversation

  • Validation is important. The reproducibility of science depends on it. Several of our speakers outlined the responsibility of good validation, stating that poor validation could lead to the wrong patients being included in a trial or the wrong medicines being developed.
  • CiteAb Founder Dr Chalmers said: “The speakers presented powerful illustrations of how important this topic is. Poor validation of antibodies can lead to unreliable research and ultimately to incorrect patients entering clinical trials or the wrong drugs being developed. It was great to hear how antibody validation being carried out at Universities, within pharma companies and antibody suppliers has advanced from two years ago.”

The meeting, which attracted 110 delegates from from Europe, the US and Asia, was organised by the University of Bath, and supported by AstraZeneca and CiteAb. It  built on the successful format of the previous meeting which was held in September 2016 as part of the University 50th celebrations

Dr Chalmers, founder of CiteAb, said: “I want to thank Fi Lang and Caroline Grange from the University of Bath for their efforts in organising the event, and I particularly want to thank Carly Dix and James Hunt from the Department of Discovery Sciences at AstraZeneca for their involvement.

“I also really want to thank our sponsors, without them the event couldn’t have taken place. A big shout out to Abcam, Atlas Antibodies, Antibodies-Online, BioTechne R&D Systems, Cambridge Protein Arrays, Cell Signaling Technology, GeneTex, Horizon, Miltenyi Biotech, Progen, Proteintech, Rockland, ThermoFisher Scientific and Ximbio.

Watch out for some videos from this meeting coming over the next couple of weeks, and we hope to run another event in this series in September 2020 – we’re all excited to see what changes have taken place by then.

Delegates at the 3rd International Antibody Validation Meeting 2018.