Protein Development and Production Unit: Diagnostics Development

The Protein Development and Production Unit (PDPU) is one of three departments within the International Blood Group Reference Laboratory (IBGRL) which plays a vital role within NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

PDPU is involved in a range of projects to develop and deliver recombinant proteins (both antibody and antigen) and monoclonal antibodies for research, diagnostic and therapeutic use. These reagents are used within NHSBT, and by external customers and collaborators from the academic, medical and commercial sectors. We provide a translational route from research to development of diagnostic and therapeutic products, including the custom manufacture of reagents for customers or collaborative partners. PDPU can generate novel monoclonal antibody specificities using either purified proteins or synthetic peptides to produce conventional mouse hybridomas.

PDPU can also provide antibody and antigen engineering services using molecular techniques which can have the potential to isolate novel antibody (Ab) specificities, to rescue and re-express unstable Abs, and to modify Abs.

For Antigen Engineering, PDPU also use molecular techniques to produce recombinant proteins expressing Antigens (Ags) of interest in both soluble form and expressed in cells. These soluble recombinant (sr) proteins and proteins expressed in cell lines can be used in cell-free assays e.g. ELISA or Luminex for detection/identification of Ab specificity. They can also be used to inhibit ‘nuisance’ Abs in patient samples in haemagglutination inhibition assays, using gel cards or tubes, to enable identification of underlying clinically significant Abs e.g. srCR1 proteins which are used for Knops Ab inhibition. Diagnostic cell lines can be used for antibody identification and can circumvent the need for freshly isolated typed donor cells. These techniques can be used to provide analytical tools to support protein or cellular therapies. 

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