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Home * Research * Top 20 Research * Improving the Safety of Cell Therapy - mAb 84 Antibody

Improving the Safety of Cell Therapy - mAb 84 Antibody

The Stem Cell group of Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) has developed a monoclonal antibody that is able to specifically target undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induce them to undergo cell death. Embryonic stem cells are well known for their ability to differentiate into virtually any type of cell, given the correct growth signals. This could potentially be useful for generating lineage-specific cells to treat various diseases. However, stem cells that fail to differentiate can form cancerous growths called teratomas. Studies have shown that even as little as 150 residual undifferentiated stem cells can result in teratoma formation.

When the monoclonal antibody, named mAb 84, is added to laboratory cultures of hESCs, it specifically eliminates undifferentiated cells within 30 minutes while leaving differentiated cells unharmed. Mechanistically, mAb 84 punches holes on the cell membrane of hESCs causing the cells to leak out materials and eventually die.

In cell therapy applications, mAb 84 can therefore be used before transplantation of differentiated cells to remove residual undifferentiated hESCs and thereby eliminating the imminent risk of teratoma formation. This will help address safety concerns when clinical approval for stem cell therapies is required in the future.


  • Tan HL, Lee EH, Yap MGS, Choo ABH
    mAb 84, a cytotoxic antibody that kills undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells via oncosis.
    Stem Cells Express (2009) April 30. 10.1002/stem.10, 2009.
  • Choo A, Tan HL, Ang SN, Fong WJ, Chin A, Lo J, Zheng L, Hentze H, Philp RJ, Oh S, Yap M
    Selection against undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells by a cytotoxic antibody recognizing podocalyxin-like protein-1.
    Stem Cells. 6: 1454-63, 2008.

Last Updated On 18 October 2009

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