Native™ Shark Antibody Discovery Service

Native™ Shark Antibody Discovery Service

Creative Biolabs offers native shark monoclonal antibody development for global clients through our unique Native™ shark antibody discovery service.

Sharks, and other members in Chondrichthyes, are currently recognized as the most evolutionarily ancient animals that rely on antibodies as part of their adaptive immune system. Interestingly, apart from the expected IgM and IgW, cartilaginous fishes also produce a type of ancestral antibody referred to immunoglobulin new antigen receptor (IgNAR). IgNAR is quite unconventional antibody composed of only a homodimeric heavy chain which contains one variable and five constant domains for each chain (Fig. 1). Owe to the distinct structure between shark and human antibody domains, the extremely high stability of IgNAR has been presented. In addition, VNAR is around 10 times smaller than standard antibodies and able to continue to function and exist within very extreme conditions. These properties allow IgNAR to play a potential role in pharmaceutical application. They can easily get into certain spots that regular size antibodies cannot, such as small gaps and nooks in cancer cells. Moreover, the variable domain of IgNAR can also be developed as single domain antibodies.

Single domain antibody (sdAbs) is the single monomeric variable domain of a whole antibody which can also bind to a specific antigen selectively. The first single domain antibody was actually engineered from VHH fragments of camel heavy-chain antibodies. It is also available to engineer single domain antibodies from the VNAR fragments of cartilaginous fishes heavy-chain antibodies. Compared with common antibodies (150-160 kDa) and other engineered antibody fragments, such as Fab (~50 kDa) and scFv (~25 kDa), single domain antibodies have much smaller molecular weight of only 12-15 kDa. This property enable single domain antibody to penetrate tissues easier in vivo to improve bioavailability for pharmaceutical applications.

With years of research and development experience in antibody discovery, scientists of Creative Biolabs have developed the Native™ Antibody Discovery Platform to generate monoclonal antibody with native and in vivo characteristics. This proprietary platform takes advantage of the antigen-specific B lymphocytes cytometry technology, and can ideally generate large scale of candidate shark antibodies in one step. Moreover, these shark antibodies are all composed of native paired heavy-chains and light-chains (for IgM and IgW) or just heavy-chains (for IgNAR), and have already gone through the in vivo affinity maturation. Thus, our Native™ shark monoclonal antibody will possess higher specificity and affinity than those produced by other techniques and will be intrinsically more appropriate for the development of single domain antibody or other research objectives.

Creative Biolabs has been a long-term expert in the field of antibody discovery and manufacturing. Our scientists take pride in having earned great reputation from our global clients by satisfactorily completed thousands of relevant projects in the past decade. We are therefore confident in offering the best and most suitable service for our customer to meet each of their specific demands.

Fig.1 Comparison between mouse/human IgG and shark IgNAR. (Stanfield et al. 2004)Fig.1 Comparison between mouse/human IgG and shark IgNAR. (Stanfield et al. 2004)


  1. Stanfield, R. L., Dooley, H., Flajnik, M. F. and Wilson, I. A. (2004) 'Crystal structure of a shark single-domain antibody V region in complex with lysozyme', Science, 305(5691), 1770-1773.

All listed customized services & products are for research use only, not intended for pharmaceutical, diagnostic, therapeutic or any in vivo human use.

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