It’s been over 30 years since the identification and commercialization of protein A. Since its inception, protein A has served as the pinnacle purification platform for the immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass of antibodies, both monoclonal and polyclonal forms. The introduction of protein A paved the way for researchers and large pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop and commercialize IgG-based therapeutics at both small and large scales, provided by its relative ease of use and well-characterized chromatographic attributes. Unfortunately, the gold standard affinity ligand, protein A, does not bind to all immunoglobulin subclasses, including immunoglobulin M (IgM), thereby forcing those working with IgM to find alternative purification strategies and leaving IgM to hitchhike on that “yellow brick road” that protein A offers so readily for IgG.
Moreover, little to no advancements have been made in developing a robust IgM purification platform to date. Therefore, the emergence of IgM-based therapeutics has been hindered. For this reason, it is not surprising that IgM might sometimes be considered “the forgotten immunoglobulin”, relative to its famous immunoglobulin counterpart, IgG. LigaTrap™ Technologies is changing this perception of IgM by bringing to market the first affinity ligands for IgM, offering a new platform for IgM purification, one that can be the missing piece to elevate IgM research and drug discovery to a whole new level.
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