Abcam raises antibody validation standards to improve quality for life science researchers

Cambridge UK, 9 September 2015 – Abcam plc, a global leader in the supply of life science research tools, today announced an industry-changing antibody validation initiative to address the critical need for antibodies with a higher target specificity.

A recent article by Nature identified that around 50% of budgets for protein-binding reagents are wasted globally due to non-specific and inconsistent antibodies1. To advance the identification of precision antibodies, Abcam is raising the standard in the industry by providing knockout-validated antibodies on an unprecedented scale. The Company’s commitment to improving validation standards means that a higher price will not be charged for these products. The initiative also enables researchers, who previously would have undertaken their own knockout validation, to benefit from significant time and cost efficiencies. Many of the antibodies that will receive this validation will be recombinant monoclonal antibodies, addressing both specificity and consistency demands of life science research.

Knockout validation involves using knockout cell lines which do not express the target protein of interest; therefore providing a true negative control2. Abcam has exclusive rights to precision knockout validation technology from Horizon Discovery Group plc to ensure that antibodies are highly specific to the intended protein target, providing researchers with trusted data that enables them to confidently select the right product and ensure the accuracy of their results.

Alan Hirzel, CEO, Abcam, said: “We always strive to provide the highest quality product and relevant supporting data. Our decision to validate antibodies with these exclusive knockout cell lines means we can give researchers an enhanced level of confidence that they are using the highest specificity products. Our hope is these changes will put more money back into advancing the research missions of our life science customers.

We’re starting to use knockout based validation today with widely-used antibodies, and our ambition is for this to apply across our whole catalogue. By using the latest knockout validated technology, validation on this scale is now an achievable goal.

Knockout validated antibodies can now be purchased from Abcam globally.

To find out more, visit https://

  1. (1) Bradbury, A. and Plückthorn, A. 2015. Reproducibility: Standardize antibodies used in research. Nature. 518(7537), pp.27-29.
  2. (2) Validation data and associated images can be found on the website. Higher-resolution images are available upon request.


Francesca Axe
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About Abcam

Abcam plc is a global leader in the supply of life science research tools, with a wide range of products and expert technical support, enabling scientists to analyse living cells at the molecular level and to improve the understanding of health and disease.

Abcam is committed to providing scientists with an extensive choice of reagents and tools, with the most comprehensive, honest and up-to-date datasheets and customer reviews, fast delivery and helpful customer service & technical support. The Company’s catalogue evolves with scientific research trends and is growing each year to provide customers with products to meet their research needs. The range now includes primary and secondary antibodies, proteins, peptides, lysates, biochemicals, immunoassays and other kits. Abcam also supports its customers by hosting a range of global scientific events, forums and webinars, providing opportunities for scientists to get together and present their work.

Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, Abcam has nine global subsidiary offices enabling local services and multi-language support to over 100 countries. The Company was founded in 1998, and now employs over 800 people. Abcam was admitted to AIM in 2005 (AIM: ABC).

Visit Abcam to find out more