The rabbits are taking over!

The trends shown by our data are described below and it is possible to get the sample data for free by dropping Matt an email at matt@citeab.com


Our first antibody market dataset of 2015 looks at trends in the types of antibodies that are most used by researchers. The most striking findings are a sustained increase in the relative use of rabbit antibodies, this includes both rabbit polyclonals and rabbit monoclonals.

Monoclonal vs Polyclonal

Our data shows that overall polyclonal research antibodies are used slightly more than monoclonal research antibodies (54% vs 46%), which supports our argument that polyclonals are unlikely to be replaced by monoclonals in the short term.

Monoclonal Antibodies

The major types of monoclonal antibodies that are used by research scientists are Mouse, Rabbit, Rat and Hamster.

Dr Andrew Chalmers, founder of CiteAb, said: “Mouse monoclonals are by some way the most frequently used, but our data shows that over the last five years there has been a steady fall in the percentage of citations using mouse antibodies.

“In contrast there has been a rapid raise in the number of researchers using Rabbit monoclonal antibodies. Over the same time period, the relative use of rat and hamster antibodies has remained fairly constant.”

“We are yet to see large numbers of citations for recombinant monoclonals, which have been much in the news recently but a number of companies do supply them (view recombinant antibodies on CiteAb) and it will be interesting to see how their citations increase over time.”

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Polyclonal Antibodies

Two baby rabbits, outdoorsCiteAb data clearly shows that Rabbit antibodies are the most used type of polyclonals and their relative share has increased over the last five years. Andrew said: “This is a trend we’re not seeing with the second most commonly used type of polyclonal antibody – Goat antibodies – where use has gradually declined over the last five years.”

The use of Guinea Pig antibodies represents a small, but stable percentage of the market, while chicken polyclonals also represent a small percentage of the total antibody market, but their use has increased over the last five years.

We asked Gary Ciment at Aves Labs what he thought of this – he said: “My reaction? Its about time folks considered using chicken antibodies! They can be used for all the same applications as rabbit antibodies. Plus, they’re less expensive, there is more batch-to-batch reproducibility, and they’re produced in an ‘animal friendly’ fashion. In fact, many of our booth visitors comment on how this animal friendly approach gives them fewer qualms about using these reagents.”

Here at CiteAb we amass data from the analysis of hundreds of thousands of life sciences publications that use research antibodies, giving us a powerful insight into antibody use and market trends. We provide unique market datasets which allow us to keep our search engine impartial and free for antibody companies to list their products. You can find details of past datasets here or find out more about our services here.

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Data showing these trends can be downloaded for free by signing up using the form above.

We can also produce custom datasets showing a more detailed breakdown for any of the antibody types, such as company market share or the most popular antibodies or targets. If you are interested please contact Matt.

What trends do you think we’re likely to see emerge in the research antibody market? What antibody types do you think labs will be using in twenty years time? Let us know in the comments below, or send us a tweet @CiteAb.

~Katrina and the CiteAb team


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