Monday, 28 March 2022 09:27

Replacement of the year 2022: Phage display instead of animals in antibody production Featured

Every year in the EU, nearly one million animals are used for antibody manufacturing and production, many of them are suffering from the mouse ascites method. This occurs although modern technologies exist that do not require the use of animals. Non-animal methods for generating and producing antibodies, such as phage display technology, have been available for years.


 Graphic: istockphoto/Naeblys

The modern method is extremely versatile. A phage display library, for example, contains an extensive repertoire of peptides or proteins expressed as recombinant molecules on the surface of genetically modified bacteriophages, which are viruses that target bacteria. Billions of different molecules can thus be presented and suitable binding partners identified and isolated. Antibodies produced by phage display are already widely used in various fields, including Covid-19 research and cancer immunotherapy.

The JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) issued a recommendation in 2020 urging end-users and other stakeholders to recognize the scientific validity of animal-free antibodies and to stop using animals for antibody development and production. However, the recommendation has been controversial in the scientific community.

For more information, see the current brochure (below)