Guidelines and scoring to drive the use of high quality antibodies in research
Antibodies are indispensable biological reagents, yet are a major contributor to the current reproducibility crisis in preclinical research.
In order to accelerate the successful translation of bench-side research breakthroughs into approved diagnostics and therapies, standards and best practices must be established around the development, commercial availability, and widespread use of assay-specific validated antibodies in biomedical research.
A variety of issues – from production variations and storage conditions to improper validation techniques—can jeopardize even the best-designed biomedical experiments.
Research antibodies must demonstrate specificity, selectivity, and reproducibility in the application or assay for which they are used.
Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to ensure this happens in every experiment across all labs.
ELISA & Sandwich Assay
Stay Informed.Read the Updates on the Working Groups Progress
Key outcomes from the Asilomar Antibody Validation Workshop include, consensus on the need for validation standards and guidelines, and a strong recommendation for a point-driven framework to ensure sufficient validation occurred for an antibody in a given application.
GBSI established Working Groups to create a series of antibody validation guidelines for each of the seven most commonly used techniques. Each Working Group consists of six or seven members, with representation from academia, antibody producers, and others including pharma and journals.
The Working Groups were tasked with establishing validation guidelines and a point system that can be used by researchers and producers alike to demonstrate what validation activities they carried out to demonstrate confirmation. Each Group has presented their proposed guidelines to GBSI. See the Updates on the Working Groups Progress above.
September 25 – 27, 2016
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA
This Workshop resulted in recommendations for antibody validation process standards, proficiency testing, and user rating services. It pulled together key stakeholders from academia, industry, production, funders, and journals to share perspectives and contribute to solutions.
Through these discussions and at the Antibody Validation Workshop, under the guidance of leaders invested in achieving results, GBSI is engaging the research community in conversation aimed at reaching consensus on the generation of validation standards for the most widely used antibody applications. Additionally, GBSI plans to issue recommendations for antibody producers to improve quality, to drive adoption by the community, and for the integration of new approaches including sequenced, recombinant antibodies. Read the consensus building documents below.
Role of Producers
Integration of Recombinants
Approaches to Validation
In 2016, GBSI launched its antibody validation online discussions. These discussions are designed to engage with the scientific community to build consensus for research antibody validation approaches – truly the first of its kind crowd-sourced consensus standards.
The validation guidelines are intended to be used by all stakeholders, whether a researcher in academia, or in QC at an antibody producer. All stakeholders have an interest in ensuring these scientifically-derived guidelines will drive better quality research through transparency and training, and GBSI welcomes all stakeholders to join them.
Co-Chairs: David Rimm, Josh LaBaer, and Mathias Uhlén
Co-Chairs: Roberto Polakiewicz and Alejandra Solache
Co-Chairs: Janice Reichert and Leonard Freedman
Co-Chairs: Andrew Bradbury & Andreas Plückthun
Over 500 researchers participated in GBSI's comprehensive antibody validation survey which was completed in the fall, 2015. GBSI worked with an independent survey research firm, McKinley Advisors, to oversee the process and analyze the results.
On June 30, 2016, the survey was published in BioTechniques. Highlights include technique proficiency by experience, and frequency of validation for purchased versus user-created antibodies.
In 2014, GBSI established an Antibodies Task Force, comprised of volunteer experts whose charge was to make recommendations to advance the quality, reproducibility, and translation of antibodies used in basic and preclinical research and development. The Task Force members recommended that GBSI develop and field a survey to gather valuable information about how researchers view best practices regarding the use of antibodies in preclinical research and to identify challenges and opportunities to implementing those practices going forward.