MBS-USDA Rift Valley Fever Virus Partnership

April 17th, 2014

Two monoclonal antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein of Rift Valley Fever Virus (RVFV), MAB239P and MAB240P, are now available for sampling from MBS R&D. The clones are a result of a partnership between MBS and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service  (USDA-ARS) to develop detection reagents for RVFV assays.

For this project, mice were immunized with RVFV lysates and screened for recognition of recombinant nucleocapsid protein (rNP). A sandwich ELISA against rNP demonstrated a sensitivity level of at least 6 ng/ml.


 The clones were then screened by USDA-ARS by indirect ELISA against native virus to confirm specificity. 


In the final phase of validation for the antibodies, Dr. Scott McVey, supervisor of the USDA Arthropod Borne Animal Disease Research Unit (ABADRU), intends to deliver them to the USDA-ARS partnered laboratories in South Africa and other endemic African nations for assay development with clinical samples.  Future goals of the MBS-USDA-ARS Rift Valley Fever program include the development of antibodies to NSs proteins to support vaccine programs.

Link to the USDA Project Description 


MBS Sales Director Interviewed in Drug Development and Delivery: Early-Stage Partnerships Are On The Rise

April 16th, 2014


MBS provides monoclonal and polyclonal antibody services, from design and development to production, characterization, and assay development. MBS works with both pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies to develop antibodies against their targets of interest, which may include small molecules, recombinant antigens, peptides, and anti-idiotypes. Tools such as MultiPure technology and Octet Red kinetic analysis are used to allow customers the opportunity to refine their clone selection earlier in the process. The antibodies developed by MBS are used by customers to support therapeutic product release and clinical trials, as well as within their 510K-approved diagnostic kits. 

As Carrie Rice, Sales Director at MBS, explains, “Our pharmaceutical customers increasingly have a need to develop anti-idiotypic antibodies for antibody neutralization assays. Anti-Id antibody candidates are screened for the ability to neutralize or block specific ligand binding of a therapeutic antibody. Monitoring therapeutic antibodies in clinical samples requires the ability to differentiate between administered antibody and naturally occurring endogenous antibodies. This has become increasingly difficult as antibody biotherapeutics more closely resemble circulating human immunoglobulins. Anti-idiotypic antibodies specific for the unique variable region of the therapeutic antibody are ideal for this purpose.”

The most common end applications for anti-id antibodies developed at MBS are in the space of preclinical research for therapeutic antibodies. They can be used as reagents in pharmacokinetic studies, immune response immunogenicity assays, in ligand binding or neutralizing studies, or in antibody blocking assays.

In the past year, MBS has built on 25 years’ experience in hybridoma development to offer anti-idiotypic antibody development. “For some of our pharmaceutical customers, developing the research use assays required for drug monitoring is a challenge or distraction that they do not want to divert their internal R&D resources to. In order to respond to that customer need, MBS has added assay development services to our offerings so that we may assist the customer one step further in the process,” explains Ms. Rice. “We are now regularly evaluating antibody performance in sandwich ELISAs and bridging assays for customers. Pharma customers can now take clones with known performance and supporting data straight to their CRO for clinical assay development.”

Ms. Rice describes one client’s antibody development program. “One of our customers was faced with a challenge that we hear from so many: Get a companion assay up and running as soon as possible so that we can get our clinical trials going. As MBS had been part of the original antibody development program, we went back to our inventory and revived antibodies that had already been developed. We optimized assays that had already been used in the development program and made them robust and repeatable enough to be transferred to a clinical lab for assay development work. Had our customer gone back to square one, developing an assay could have added 9-12 months and tens of thousands of dollars to their program.”

MBS finds itself in an evolving market and that could affect the service pharma customers can expect from providers. “The industry is experiencing a wave of acquisitions and outsourced manufacturing by antibody service providers to overseas providers. Sometimes that outsourcing is obvious and sometimes it is not made clear to the customer. Often, the pricing for projects undercuts the service providers that have longevity here in the United States. The risk, in our view, is that as the industry trends toward needing more and complex hybridoma developments in the anti-idiotypic space,” she says. “Base model providers with canned approaches will likely not be able to meet the growing challenges that anti-idiotypic developments present.”

via SPECIAL FEATURE – Outsourcing Formulation Development & Manufacturing: Early-Stage Partnerships Are On The Rise | Articles | Back Issues | Drug Development & Delivery.

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Anti-HIS tag Antibody from MBS Incorporated into ForteBio Dip and Read Anti-HIS (HIS2) Biosensors

March 13th, 2014

Portland Maine -  MBS MAB230P, monoclonal antibody to the polyhistidine (HIS) tag has been incorporated into the second generation Forte Bio Anti-HIS biosensors for rapid quantitative measurement of HIS tagged proteins.  MAB230P was selected by ForteBio after demonstrating high specificity and excellent sensitivity, detecting HIS tagged proteins in nanogram quantities.  The antibody is broadly reactive, recognizing HIS tags of 4X or greater, engineered at either the N- or C-terminus of the protein. The internal development and production of MAB230P allows MBS to maintain the highest quality standards and the ability to offer the lowest price in the marketplace. 

The MAB230P anti-(HIS) tag antibody, is part of a growing list of MBS products aimed at assisting our customers in the detection of recombinant proteins.  Quality, affordable antibodies to Maltose Binding Protein (MBP) and Glutathione S-transferase (GST) tags are also available at MBS.  A project to develop new antibodies to the DYKDDDK peptide epitope tag is ongoing. HIS-tag is the most popular recombinant protein tag and MAB230P is widely sampled and used by customers with need for a high affinity, highly specific HIS-tag antibody. 

About Maine Biotechnology Services:  Maine Biotechnology Services is a premier provider of antibody services, from design and development to production and characterization. A wide variety of tools are utilized by MBS to refine clone selection early in a project, and to support prototype assay validation.  MBS is able to apply 25 years experience in custom hybridoma projects to the development of antibody product reagents.  It is the goal of MBS to maintain a small, internally developed, well supported catalog of antibodies that offer the highest quality performance at the lowest pricing, direct from the manufacturer.

About ForteBio Dip and Read Anti-HIS (HIS2) Biosensors – Pre-immobilized with the next generation high-affinity, high-specificity Anti-HIS antibody from Maine Biotechnology Services (MBS), the Anti-HIS (HIS2) Biosensor directly captures and detects HIS-tagged proteins for quick and easy quantitative measurement.  Key features include the rapid detection of HIS-tagged proteins, high-specificity capture of HIS-tagged proteins for easy quantitation and rapid analysis of crude or purified samples.   Octet® biosensors and assay kits are configured in a standard 96-well format, for your convenience. They are compatible with all Octet instruments (whether using 96- or 384-well plates)

 MAB230P  100ug $200.00   1mg $425.00

MBS-USDA Partnership Provides Monoclonal Antibodies to Aid in the Containment of Rift Valley Fever Virus

December 12th, 2013

Portland, Maine- In July 2012, Maine Biotechnology Services entered into a partnership with Dr. Scott McVey, supervisor of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service  (USDA-ARS) Arthropod Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, with the objective of developing monoclonal antibodies to support ongoing research efforts to advance adequate vaccine and rapid detection methods for Rift Valley Fever Virus in Africa. MBS is announcing the release of the first two antibodies resulting from that partnership; a functioning matched pair demonstrating specificity to the nucleocapsid protein of the virus. These antibodies have applications as detection reagents for circulating antigen, mosquito carriers, or as components of differentiation of infected and vaccinated animals (DIVA) assays.  In the final phase of validation for the antibodies, Dr. McVey intends to deliver them to USDA-ARS partnered laboratories in South Africa and other endemic African nations for assay development with clinical samples. Future goals of the MBS-USDA-ARS Rift Valley Fever program include the development of antibodies to the Gn and NSs proteins to support vaccine programs.

About Rift Valley Fever Virus: Rift Valley Fever is a devastating virus transmitted by mosquitoes that affects both animals and humans. The disease results in significant economic losses due to death and abortion in RVFV infected livestock.  Originating in the Rift Valley of Kenya, outbreaks of the virus now occur in all areas of sub-Saharan and North Africa.  Cases have also been confirmed in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, causing widespread concern about the vulnerability of parts of Asia and Europe involved in livestock trade with Africa. 

About Maine Biotechnology Services:  Maine Biotechnology Services is a premier provider of antibody services, from design and development to production and characterization. MBS extends the creativity and experience necessary for the most complex hybridoma development projects. A wide variety of tools are utilized by MBS to allow customers the opportunity to refine clone selection early in a project, and to support prototype assay validation. Collaboration opportunities combine 25 years of custom hybridoma development experience at MBS with academic expertise on a target of shared interest.

For more information contact:

Kimberly LaPointe

Maine Biotechnology Services

1037R Forest Ave.

Portland, Maine 04103

Antibody Purity – How Pure is Pure Enough?

October 4th, 2013

MBS has long used Protein A with pH gradient elution for the purification of murine monoclonal IgG antibodies.  By providing the gentlest conditions possible we have been able to offer our customers consistent monomer IgG purity of ~95%.  When circumstances warrant, we also offer the highest quality standards in Protein G and Immunoaffinity Chromatography techniques.  Increasingly, however, our custom antibody development customers have therapeutic research goals that may require an even higher level of antibody purity.   

To meet those customer’s needs, MBS is now offering an additional Size Exclusion Chromatography polishing step to be added to one of our standard purification protocols. Removal of misfolded and confounding IgG dimers and higher molecular weight aggregates consistently results in antibody preparations >99% pure. Soluble aggregates can cause non-specific background problems, loss of sensitivity and variability in immunoassays that can severely confound clinical studies.

Increasing Your Antibody Purity


                  Industry Standard                                          MBS Protein A Purified                               MBS Protein A with
                  Protein A Purified Antibody                          Antibody                                                        SEC Polishing 
                  (80-90% Purity)                                            (~95% Purity)                                              (>99% Purity)


Applications that customers have requested ~99% purity for:

  • Clinical Assays
  • Bridging Assays
  • Gold Conjugations



Monoclonal Antibodies to Cystatin C

September 13th, 2013

MBS R&D began a Cystatin C monoclonal antibody development project with the goal of developing a diagnostic grade, matched pair capable of detecting human Cystatin C in clinical samples. The resultant monoclonal antibodies; MAB236P, MAB237P and MAB238P, far exceed that development goal, recognizing Cystatin C in ng/mL concentrations. The two best matched pairs detect Cystatin C present in normal human serum and purified from urine.   

Now widely used for diagnostic applications, these monoclonals are the affordable, highly sensitive solution you are looking for in your assay.  Backed by extensive product support and produced under cGMP conditions, MAB236P, MAB237P and MAB238P provide customers with the best value in the marketplace.  

Sandwich ELISA Data





Figure 1:

A sandwich ELISA was performed using MAB236P or MAB237P as capture and MAB238P-biotin as tracer. Cystatin C purified from human urine was spiked into sample diluent and serially diluted from 3.12ng/ml to 0.025ng/ml. 










Figure 2:

A second sandwich ELISA was run using normal human serum as the sample to demonstrate that the two matched pairs are able to detect Cystatin C present in serum. The data indicates that both matched pairs are able to detect and measure Cystatin C in the serum matrix.





*Although Cystatin C circulates in serum at μg/ml range, the MBS Cystatin C matched pair antibodies function in the ng/ml range.


New Monoclonal Antibodies to Progesterone

May 14th, 2013

MAB234P and MAB235P, monoclonal antibodies to progesterone, are now ready for sampling.

The most accurate formats for measurement of progesterone in clinical samples are competition and/or inhibition assays since the molecule is only 314 daltons. Progesterone in a clinical sample competes with a carefully chosen conjugated progesterone reagent for available binding sites on a capture antibody specific for progesterone. The signal seen in a competitive immunoassay is inversely proportional to the amount of progesterone present in a sample.

Progesterone Molecular Structure and Numbering of Positions

progesterone diagram

  MAB234P – Generated using progesterone-6-KLH immunogen

MAB235P – Generated using progesterone-11-KLH immunogen


A successful, specific clinical progesterone competition assay is dependent on the optimized pairing of a competition progesterone reagent with the anti-progesterone antibody. It is critical to understand the compatibility of the competition reagents used. Knowing the attachment point used in the chosen progesterone conjugate is important, as steric interactions can play a role in confounding an assay if the epitopes on the conjugate are blocked by the attached detection enzyme. The conjugation ratio used to develop the progesterone competition reagent can also have an effect on assay sensitivity and should be considered.

For the validation of MAB234P and MAB235P as capture antibodies, MBS used internally developed competition progesterone conjugates in a series of competitive ELISAs to look at antibody sensitivity and specificity. A limited supply of those progesterone conjugates are available for sampling with MAB234P and 235P while supplies last. MBS R&D assays demonstrated sensitivity levels within the normal clinical range for detection of progesterone.

Stability of Antibody Service Providers

April 29th, 2013


Amid a wave of acquisitions and outsourced manufacturing by antibody service providers, MBS wants to reassure our customers that they can count on the stability and longevity of our organization.  MBS has been privately owned and operated in New England since 1990.  We have stayed true to our core proficiency and quality standards in antibody development, while continuously striving to add to our expertise and tools to assure the highest quality project outcomes.  

The cornerstones of our success have always been customer communication and in-house project management.  In 2013, MBS plans to add electrofusion to our hybridoma development services which also include innovative purification protocols and Octet kinetic analysis.  Investing in our technical capabilities to meet evolving customer needs signals our commitment to remaining your partner in antibody development well into the future.  

Browse our site to learn more about the cGMP antibody services offered by MBS:

Custom Monoclonal Antibody Development

Interaction Analysis via Octet

                               Prototype Assay Development

                                                                                           Polyclonal Antibody Development and Affinity Purification

                                                                                           Ascites and In Vitro Antibody Production

                                                                                           Optimized Antibody Purification

                                                                                           Antibody Characterization Services

                                                                                           Growing Catalog of MBS Produced Antibodies

Antibodies to Lactoferrin

February 27th, 2013

MBS is now offering two antibodies specific for lactoferrin, MAB232P, and MAB233P.  Lactoferrin is part of the transferrin family of proteins, an iron binding glycoprotein involved in host defense against infection and is a modulator of inflammatory reactions. 



The antibodies were evaluated for their ability to work as matched pairs in a mono-mono sandwich ELISA format. Biotin conjugates of both antibodies were prepared for use as tracers. The antibodies demonstrated the ability to work in both capture/tracer configurations.


Both monoclonal antibodies were evaluated by indirect ELISA and sandwich ELISA (data not shown) for cross-reactivity to transferrin, both Apo (iron-free) and Holo (iron-saturated) forms.  The results suggest that neither antibody cross-reacts with transferrin to a significant degree.

New Recombinant Tag Antibodies

February 14th, 2013

Monoclonal Antibody to Polyhistidine (HIS)-tag

MAB230P, a monoclonal antibody specific for the polyhistidine (HIS) tag, is part of a growing list of MBS products aimed at assisting our customers in the detection of recombinant proteins.  HIS-tag is the most popular recombinant protein tag and MAB230P is being widely sampled and used by customers with need for a high affinity, highly specific HIS-tag antibody.  MBS R&D developed the murine antibody using 6X-His-KLH.  The internal development and production of MAB230P allows MBS to maintain the highest quality standards and the ability to offer the lowest possible price.
Quantity/Price: 100ug $200 | 1mg $425


Click here to read more about the Forte Bio Dip and Read™ Anti-HIS (HIS2) Biosensors and MAB230P


Monoclonal Antibody to Maltose Binding Protein (MBP)

Maltose Binding Protein (MBP) tags have demonstrated utility to increase expression and proper folding of proteins expressed in bacteria leading to improved solubility of the partner protein.

Maine Biotechnology Services Inc has developed a monoclonal antibody specific for Maltose Binding Protein (MBP) to optimize detection and purification of recombinant proteins utilizing MBP tags. MAB231P has been confirmed by Western Blot and ELISA to recognize MBP irrespective of the vector used for expression.  

Quantity/Price: 100ug $200 | 1mg $425
















Several recent publications bring to light the superior performance of maltose binding protein in a variety of applications including, the ability of MBP to improve soluble expression(1), act as a carrier  and delivery system for fused proteins to target antigens(2), increasing the solubility of drug candidates(3), and even experimental therapeutic uses(4).

MBP References:

1.The ability to enhance the solubility of its fusion partners is an intrinsic property
of maltose-binding protein but their folding is either spontaneous or chaperone-mediated.

Raran-Kurussi S, Waugh DS.

2Maltose-binding protein is a potential carrier for
oral immunizations, 
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 
P.Bellot,P.Tiels, V.Melkebeek, B.Devriendt, B.M.Goddeeris, E. Cox,

3. A chromatography-focused bioprocess that eliminates soluble aggregation
for bioactive production of a new antimicrobial peptide candidate, 

Xiang Li, Susanna Su Jan Leong, 

4. Synergistic antitumor effects of Escherichia coli maltose
binding protein and Bacillus Calmette–Guerin in a mouse lung carcinoma model

Qingyong Zhang, Weihua Ni, Xiaoxia Zhao, Fengli Wang, Zhuo Gao, Guixiang Tai,

The information provided on this website is for informational and educational purposes only. This information should not be construed as rendering legal advice or offering an answer to a specific legal problem.