Author Archive: admin

March 2016 – Development of monoclonal antibodies to monitor animal’s health as part of European project

VetBioNet is a European project funded under a call from Horizon 2020 for funding large research
infrastructures. VetBioNet ( overarching goal is to establish and maintain a
comprehensive network of pre-eminent high-containment (BSL3) research facilities, academic
institutes, international organisations and industry partners that is dedicated to advance research on
epizootic and zoonotic diseases and to promote technological developments. It is a large project with
a €10 million budget. VAL’s role in this project is to develop tools (i.e. antibodies) to be used to
monitor animal’s health and vaccine efficacy.

VetBioNet Logo

April 2015

parafishcontrol logo

April 2015 – Development of monoclonal antibodies for parasite-specific molecules

In April 2015 a European Union Horizon 2020 Project funded to support the prospective fish-farming industry has started. ParaFishControl ( overarching goal is to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of the European aquaculture industry by improving our understanding of fish-parasite interactions and by developing innovative solutions and tools for the prevention, control and mitigation of the most harmful parasitic species affecting the main European farmed fish species. Vertebrate Antibodies Limited (VAL) role in this project is to generate antibodies towards parasite-specific antigens thought to be implicated in virulence. The international consortium consists of 18 public research groups, 3 industrial partners, 7 SME and 2 non-profit foundations will be supported by the EU with €7.8 million.

October 2014

VAL new antibodies towards key zebrafish targets:

The antibodies are specific to zebrafish targets involved in key biological pathways including immunity, angiogenesis, tumour suppressors and drug metabolisers. The list are as follows; CD4, FOXP3, IFNγ(1), p53, MMP9, AKT1, FLT1, FGF1, TIMP2a, PXR and CYP3C1. Datasheets available on the zebrafish page.

Kick Start Award                                                                                                               (in progress)

In collaboration with Dr Milena Monte, Aberdeen University. The award will allow the generation of monoclonal antibodies to key zebrafish targets.  The objective of this project is to provide tools to develop zebrafish as an immunological models to study immune related disorders in human as well as enhance our understanding of the evolution of the immune system. Ultimately this will aid the future generation of novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

June 2014

VAL new antibodies towards key immune targets in salmonids:

In recent years, aquaculture has expanded significantly and become a major economic sector. In the last two decades, commercial vaccines have become available through research to prevent infectious diseases caused by some pathogens. However there is still a long way to go to develop effective vaccines against other types of pathogens. One of the bottlenecks is lack of immunological assays for the diagnosis and effective monitoring of vaccines performance, which will require high quality monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to measure the host immune response. Immune response elicited by immunoglobulins and cytokines is essential for the host to mount effective and memorable defence against infection. VAL has generated mAbs to key fish (salmonids) immune targets to be used to develop diagnostic and vaccine monitoring assays. These antibodies are specific to; IL22 (2 antibodies), IL21, IL4, IFNγ (3 antibodies as part of TargetFish programme), IFNγ-related, CD4 (2 antibodies), CD3, IgM, IgT (2 antibodies) and IPNV (2 antibodies). These antibodies are currently being validated at the Fish Immunology Research Centre at Aberdeen and will be made available for the scientific community in the near future.

April 2014

CRT exclusive agreement:

Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd reached an agreement with Cancer Research Technology (CRT) to exclusively license a number of their monoclonal antibodies for Research Only.  The antibodies are specific towards the following human targets; BCLAF1, CCT2, CYP1A2, CYP1A, CYP2A6, CYP2E1, CYP2R1, CYP4F11, CYP4A11, CYP4V2, CYP4Z1, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A7, CYP7B1, CYP8B1, CYP26A1, CYP26B1, CYP26C1, CYP39A1, CYP51A1, DRAM1, FANCM, LRAT, MMP1, MMP2, MMP3, MMP9, activated-MMP9, MTSS1, NSE, POT1, RYK,  SPRED1,  TIGAR, TIMP1 and TIMP2. (For more information see the link

CRT exclusive agreement:

The license includes 10 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) towards Respiratory Syncytial (RS) virus. The antibodies have diagnostic and neutralising activities (see attachment). RS virus is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infection and is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infection during infancy. We believe that our antibodies are valuable research tools with significant diagnostic and therapeutic potential. We have mAbs that are specific to RS virus Group A and B (see attachment). We believe that many of the commercially available RS virus diagnostic kits can be improved to become clinically more useful by the inclusion of our antibodies, particularly mAb 4-14 which specifically recognises the phosphoprotein (VPP32) of RS virus Group B. Consequently, the use of this mAb will identify those patients infected with RS virus Group B. Furthermore, we have also produced mAbs with neutralising activities against RS virus; the latter recognise epitopes on the virus fusion protein. The mAb 11-3-A3, in particular, exhibits high in vitro neutralising activity (1000-fold reduction in infectious viral titre). We believe strongly that our antibodies have therapeutic potential to fight RS virus infections. (For more information see the link

January 2014

SMART-SCOTLAND feasibility study award “Discovery of colorectal cancer biomarkers and validation of antibodies towards them for use as diagnostic or therapeutic agents”.  Over the duration of 18 months and in collaboration with Professor Graeme Murray at Aberdeen University, the projects aims to deliver a portfolio of novel tumour biomarkers combined with clinical probes for diagnostic, prognostic, treatment predictive, monitoring and therapeutic use to colorectal cancer.  When successful such platform will provide a tumour biomarker discovery platform for other types of cancer (more update to follow).

January 2012

Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Award in collaboration with Dr Jun Zou at the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre (SFIRC). The award aimed at developing assays to monitor vaccine performance in salmonids.

Outcome:  monoclonal antibodies are developed to key cytokines i.e. INFg. Quantitative and qualitative assays are being optimised by scientists at SFIRC (more update to follow).


Kick Start Award in collaboration with Dr Helen Dooley, Aberdeen University. The award will allow the generation of monoclonal antibodies to shark immunoglobuling.  The objective of this work is forward our understanding of shark’s immune system, the evolution of the immune system and ultimately to aid the future generation of novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents. (in progress)

July 2012

Kick Start award in collaboration with Professor Graeme Murray, University of Aberdeen, with focus on the discovery of colorectal cancer biomarkers and the validation of antibodies towards them for use as prognostic agents.


The project targeted retinoic acid metabolising enzymes. Retinoic acid is a metabolite of vitamin A and is essential for normal cell growth. Monoclonal antibodies were developed to individual retinoic acid metabolizing enzymes to profile their expression in colorectal cancer and to assess their clinical usefulness as probes by screening a high quality tissue microarray using the ACCRI-BANK (Aberdeen colorectal cancer research initiative–BANK, this colorectal cancer tissue bank is incorporated into the Grampian Biorepository). The study has generated exciting data, specifically the discovery of potential prognostic markers. The key finding is that Cytochrome P450 26B1 (CYP26B1) is considerably overexpressed in colorectal cancer and that CYP26B1 is associated with poor outcome, thus demonstrating a prognostic potential. The development of new prognostic biomarkers is likely to improve the survival rates for colorectal cancer patients. Furthermore, CYP26B1 may represent a novel drug target for this type of tumour.

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