Immunoassay techniques are used to measure clinically relevant proteins and peptides. The Tumour Marker Group at MBK is one of the few hospital laboratories that still develops, validates and introduces novel in house assays into the clinical routine. We have more than 25 years of experience in the production of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) used as reagents in these specialized assays. Many of our mAbs have been licensed to the diagnostic industry and are used in commercial assay kits marketed worldwide. The challenges related to immunometric assays, particularly interference caused by heterophilic antibodies or human anti-mouse antibodies have been thoroughly studied by our group and we have undertaken extensive studies on the incidence and prevention of interference in immunometric assays.
Our group has developed assays for measuring serum levels of biologic drugs and anti-drug antibodies, particularly biologic drugs used in the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. These assays are used extensively in routine clinical practice in Norway, and in several national clinical trials. We are also partners in an EU-funded consortium working towards personalized treatment with therapeutic antibodies in rheumatology. Recently, we have developed assays for checkpoint (PD-1, CTLA-4) inhibitors, blockbuster drugs used in immunotherapy in oncology. By monitoring serum concentrations of these effective and expensive drugs, and identifying patients who produce neutralizing antibodies, clinicians may personalize and optimize treatment in individual patients.