What were the 100 most popular antibodies of 2021?


Min Read

In this blog:

  • What were the most cited research antibodies of 2021?
  • Which antibody suppliers featured in the top 100 antibody list?
  • What type of antibodies were most popular amongst researchers?

Welcome to the second blog in our top 100 series, focusing on the most cited antibodies of 2021. Last week, we looked at the top 100 cited protein research reagents.

Today we explore our data on the most popular antibodies, shedding light on leading antibody suppliers and the types of antibodies used in research. 

You can see our most recent analysis looking at the top 100 antibodies of 2022 here.

Overview of key findings from analysis of top 100 antibodies in 2021, with leading suppliers and antibodies detailed.
Overview of key findings from analysis of top 100 antibodies in 2021

What data do we use in our analysis?

Our antibody dataset is comprehensive and highly accurate, with over 6 million products and 2 million peer reviewed citations. We have also recently added preprints to the dataset in order to produce a more accurate view of the top 100 antibodies. 

This data covers monoclonal, polyclonal and recombinant antibodies as well as information on validations, conjugations and more.

So, what did we discover when we delved into this data?

What are the most popular antibodies researchers use in their work?

Understanding which antibodies are most highly cited can help to show us which suppliers are succeeding, what work researchers are focusing on and any trends in the types of antibodies that scientists are using. 

Cell Signaling Technology’s Anti-rabbit IgG, HRP-linked Antibody (Cat# 7074) confidently maintains its position as the most cited antibody of the year, as it has done since 2017. 

Cell Signaling Technology impressively supplies the majority of the top 10 most cited antibodies, including GAPDH (D16H11) XP ® Rabbit mAb (Cat# 5174) which has moved up from eighth to fifth in 2021.

Western blot image using the most popular antibody: Anti-rabbit IgG, HRP-linked Antibody (7074)
Western blot image using Anti-rabbit IgG, HRP-linked Antibody (Cat# 7074)
Image collected and cropped by CiteAb under a CC-BY license from: M. Lee et al. (2019) Mar Drugs. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31083497/

Two new antibodies have broken into the top 10 this year: Cell Signaling Technology’s GAPDH (14C10) Rabbit mAb (Cat# 2118), rising from 11th to 8th, and Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Goat anti-Rabbit IgG (H+L) Cross-Adsorbed Secondary Antibody, Alexa Fluor 488 (Cat# A-11008) rising from 12th to 9th. 

Despite the most cited antibody remaining the same over the past four years, movement in the top 10 most cited antibodies shows this market has not remained static, and monitoring it year on year reveals interesting changes.

What types of antibodies feature?

This year, we saw a rise in the number of secondary antibodies that researchers were citing the most in published work. 29 secondary antibodies featured compared to the 24 in 2020.

Perhaps reflecting the rise in secondary antibody usage, we also saw fewer recombinant antibodies in 2021. Only 23 of the top 100 antibodies were recombinant. This is a more unexpected result to uncover, so we will be interested to see if this is a continuing trend for 2022. However, it is worth noting that when we expanded our data analysis to look at the top 1000 antibodies of 2021, we saw a different trend. The number of recombinant antibodies increased from 255 in 2020 to 281 in 2021.

Which suppliers are providing the most popular antibodies?

Carrying on their dominance from 2020, Cell Signaling Technology supply the most antibodies in the top 100 – over ⅓ of the list. Although Cell Signaling Technology have dropped two antibodies from the top 100 compared to 2020, a continuing trend from previous years, they maintain their lead on the competition by some margin. 

When we have carried out analysis on supplier share, basing this on the total share of citations, Abcam and Cell Signaling Technology have vied for the top position over the past few years. We reported in a previous blog that Abcam just pipped Cell Signaling Technology to take the highest supplier share in the antibody market. In this dataset, focusing on the most cited products instead of overall share, Abcam follow behind with 20 of the most cited antibodies of the year. 

Other suppliers with products in the top 100 include: Thermo Fisher Scientific, MilliporeSigma and Santa Cruz Biotechnology. Thermo Fisher have managed to add three antibodies to our top 100 most cited list, whereas MilliporeSigma and Santa Cruz Biotechnology have both dropped an antibody. The top antibody suppliers of this dataset are also the global antibody market leaders by overall citation share.

Proteintech has seen the addition of two more antibodies into the top 100 list, building on their entry into the top 100 list for the first time in 2020. Proteintech have also been growing across specific markets, an example being the Japanese antibody market which we recently reported on.

Graph to show which suppliers have products in the top 100 antibody list, and how many products they hold.
Graph to show which suppliers have products in the top 100 antibody list, and how many products they hold.

Interested in further analysis?

You can freely download the complete list of the top 100 cited antibodies from 2021, taken from the complete antibody database, by signing up below. To learn more about our datasets, or if you have any questions about this sample dataset, do get in touch

  • Rhys and the CiteAb team

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