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Custom Services FAQs

We answer your frequently asked questions about our Custom Services capabilities.

For additional information, please submit an inquiry or contact us to learn more.

What services do you provide?

We provide comprehensive services for custom antibody development, including antigen design and preparation, immunization, hybridoma generation and subcloning, and antibody production and purification. We can also perform additional screening assays such as Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, ELISA, and others.

What are the advantages of working with you?

Our products:
RabMAb®​ primary antibodies combine high affinity and high specificity; this combination translates to strong signals and low backgrounds.
RabMAb primary antibodies are particularly good for detecting small changes such as post-translational modifications and subtle differences in antigen structure. In addition, greater diversity resulting from broad, novel epitope recognition increases the chances of finding a reagent suitable for your experiments. 

Our support:
Each project is overseen by a dedicated PhD-level project manager. This person will help design a work scope based on your unique needs and then act as a point of contact as it is executed. Our project managers all have scientific backgrounds and can assist with planning of assays and interpretation of results to help you can get the most from your antibodies.

Your involvement:
You will receive regular updates about the progress of your project. In addition, there are multiple steps at which we will ask for your feedback on testing materials. Your participation in the screening process is crucial to its success and ensures that the antibodies are effective in your experiments.

How long have you been making custom antibodies? 

Our group has been making custom antibodies - over 3,000 in total - for more than 10 years. To view a partial list of citations from our customers, please visit our references page. 

What is the timeframe for developing a custom RabMAb primary antibody? 

From immunization through delivery of hybridomas, the process takes 7-8 months to complete. If you provide us a rabbit spleen from another immunization, the process takes about 4-5 months. 

View the antibody generation timeline

Can I make a monoclonal from rabbits immunized somewhere else?

Yes, definitely. We are happy to work with your polyclonal provider to coordinate sample transfer.

What kinds of immunogens can you use?

We most commonly use proteins, peptides, and small molecules, and we have had success with cell immunization in the past.

How much material is needed?

We typically request at least 1 mg of protein or 1.5 mg conjugated peptide or small molecule per rabbit for our standard protocol, but if the material is very immunogenic, we may be able to use less. ELISA screening typically requires another 1 mg of material.

How many rabbits do you recommend immunizing? 

We suggest at least 2 rabbits per project. Because they do not have a uniform genetic background, each rabbit responds differently to the same antigen; the chances of finding one with a good response increase as you add more animals. 

What process do you use to generate RabMAb primary antibodies? 

In most cases, we isolate lymphocytes from the rabbit’s spleen and then fuse these cells with our proprietary fusion partner line, resulting in hybridomas. HAT is used to select for the hybridomas, and after subcloning, each individual line secretes a single type of antibody. 

How much does it cost to develop a custom antibody?

The cost depends on multiple factors and will vary between projects. Our experienced project managers are happy to review your needs and make suggestions on how to generate the best antibodies for your particular project. Please contact us to learn more. 

How do I know that the antibodies will work in my experiments?

There are multiple checkpoints during the antibody generation process where we send samples to you for testing in your own assays (see blue "customer testing" boxes in our antibody generation timeline). This will allow you to move forward with the best selections from each step so that in the end, the final products fit your exact specifications. 

What happens if the antibodies aren’t working?

Abcam Custom Services is dedicated to customer satisfaction and can assist with any troubleshooting needed. If the antibodies still do not yield your desired results, the project may be terminated at any of the customer testing phases (see "Go/No-go" in purple in our antibody generation timeline). Only work completed at the time of cancelation will be billed.

What do I receive at the end of the project?

We typically provide frozen hybridoma cells as the final deliverable. Some customers request that we culture the cells and collect supernatant for antibody production or express the antibodies recombinantly to make large-scale amounts.

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