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Recombinant antibodies to further neglected tropical disease research and diagnostics

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) recently announced a partnership with Absolute Antibody Ltd., an industry-leading provider of recombinant antibody products and services, to develop engineered recombinant antibodies specific for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), such as lymphatic filariasis and typhoid.

Antibodies targeting various antigens against parasites or bacteria are now commercially available in newly engineered formats, providing valuable research tools for scientists worldwide striving to produce better diagnostics and treatments for NTD.

Neglected tropical diseases are a collection of infectious diseases that are predominantly found in many lower to middle income countries (LMIC) that directly affect more than one billion people.

Although multiple initiatives have been launched over the past decade to overcome NTDs, the challenges of NTDs still remain a significant economic and social burden on developing nations.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) 2030 road map pertaining to NTDs highlights the importance of strengthened, institutionalized “post-elimination” surveillance which translates to the need for good diagnostics.

The newly available antibodies would be valuable tools for researchers working with lymphatic filariasis and typhoid.

Originally developed by the laboratory of Theam Soon Lim at USM, the antibodies target BmR1 and BMSXP from Brugia Malayi, and HlyE from Salmonella Typhi.

Under the partnership, Absolute Antibody has engineered the antibodies into new recombinant formats and made them accessible to a wider scientific audience via an online reagents catalogue.

The recombinant antibodies with the help of Absolute Antibody will undergo a new lease of life. The recombinant antibodies can be produced with a higher batch-to-batch reproducibility while allowing the development of new applications.

The antibodies are now available in human and veterinary formats for use as serological controls in diagnostic applications.

Researchers also have the possibility to request customized engineering for various species, isotypes and subtypes best suited for their research project.

“We’re excited to partner with the Antibody Development lab of Theam Soon at USM to offer recombinant antibodies related to NTDs,” said Dr. Michael Fiebig, Chief Scientific Officer at Absolute Antibody.

“Our collaboration increases the availability of these valuable reagents while furthering their utility through antibody engineering,” he added.

“Having access to useful research reagents related to NTDs is key for researchers in LMICs working in the area,” said Theam Soon, Associate Professor at the USM Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM).

“I am glad to partner with Absolute Antibody to develop new antibodies for other NTDs, as improved accessibility and availability of these valuable reagents will help researchers worldwide to overcome NTDs.”

About Absolute Antibody, Ltd.

Absolute Antibody was founded in 2012 with a vision to make recombinant antibody technology accessible to all. We offer antibody sequencing, engineering and recombinant production as custom services, as well as a unique catalog of recombinant antibodies, engineered into new and useful formats. In 2022, we became part of Absolute Biotech, a new company that unites multiple life science brands into one organization specializing in antibody reagents and services. For more information, visit:

About Universiti Sains Malaysia

Universiti Sains Malaysia, a public institution of higher learning established under the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971, is Malaysia’s premier public university with research and teaching facilities, experience, and a multi-disciplinary team of experts from among its staff members to undertake the creation, development, dissemination and application of knowledge that can contribute towards achieving the Malaysian Government’s goal of nation building. USM has set its mission to be "a pioneering, trans-disciplinary research-intensive university that empowers future talents and enables the bottom billions to transform their socio-economic well-being". For more information, visit:

Information on the Antibody Development Lab can be found here:

Media Contact:

Tan Ewe Hoe I Deputy Director, Media & Public Relations Centre, USM I Tel: 604-653 6487 I Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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