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November 16, 1979

Medical News

JAMA. 1979;242(20):2161-2170. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300200003001

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Monoclonal antibodies: clinical potential of a growth industry  A biological cloning technique that was only a gleam in the eyes of a few researchers not long ago is already going commercial. Immunologists predict it should lead rapidly to the large-scale production of extremely pure and highly selective antibodies with important applications in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including cancer. They also suggest that the new biological technology will allow more accurate tissue typing and increase substantially the success rate of organ transplants.The "monoclonal antibody" technique, which many biologists label "revolutionary," was developed five years ago by Cesar Milstein and George Kohler, immunologists at the Medical Research Council's Molecular Biology Laboratory in Cambridge, England (Nature 256:495-497,1975). Since then it has found its way into scores of laboratories throughout the world, and at least two recently established companies are planning to take cloned antibodies into the commercial pharmacologic