Antibody and Immunoassay Services, HKU
Antibody and Immunoassay Services, HKU

About us

The Antibody and Immunoassay Services (AIS) is a research center focusing on biomarker discovery, immunoassay development, drug screening and clinical validation . It is also a major division of the State Key Laboratory (PSKL) of pharmaceutical biotechnology in Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, which was officially approved by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

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Biomarker discovery
12USA PatentsIn the past decades, AIS has discovered dozens of new biomarkers related to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory disorders, which led to over 150 scientific publications, 12 US patents and a series of international patents. We discovered the circulating form of adipocyte fatty acid binding protein and lipocalin-2 as biomarkers for obesity-related metabolic and cardiovascular complications (Xu A, 2006 & Wang Y, 2007, Clin. Chem.), and are the first to identify FGF21 as a novel adipokine associated with obesity-related metabolic syndrome in humans (Zhang X, Diabetes, 2008). Many these biomarkers discovered by us are now being widely used for clinical diagnostics and drug targets.
Immunoassay development
AIS has successfully developed and manufactured more than 20 monoclonal antibodies or polyclonal antibodies-based highly sensitive and specific immunoassays for both well-established and new biomarkers related to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The unique feature of our assays is that most of our protein immunogens used for antibody production were expressed in mammalian cells with posttranslational modifications, so that our assays can accurately measure the natural form of these biomarkers in the circulation. The recombinant proteins, antibodies and immunoassays developed by AIS have been used and cited by hundreds of publications in top-ranked journals including Cell Metab, JCI, PNAS, Circulation, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Hepatology, JCEM, ATVB.
Clinical validation
AIS has built up a comprehensive range of clinical database and biobank via co-operation with clinical institutes globally, including 1925 subjects from Cardiovascular Risk Factor Prevalence Study (CRISPS) in Hong Kong initiated in 1996; 9795 diabetic subject from the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study in Sydney; 2788 subjects from 10 years follow up of community population in Shanghai China; and over 3000 subjects from LADA China Studies in Hunan. These well-documented clinical samples serve as a unique resource for our discovery of novel biomarkers and the validation of newly-developed assays and diagnostic reagents.
Drug discovery and Commercialization
Based on our newly-discovered biomarkers and high throughput assays, we have established strategic alliance with several pharmaceutical companies such as Servier (EU) to develop new therapeutics for metabolic and vascular diseases. In addition, AIS has licensed its products to many biotech companies, including Abcam(UK), Biorbyt (UK), Biovendor (EU), Diamed (Canada), Millipore (USA), Servier (France) and Symansis (Australasia).

As an integral part of state key laboratory of pharmaceutical biotechnology, AIS is well supported by major grants in Hong Kong, including ITC, Collaborative Research Funds and Theme-based Research Scheme. We are actively seeking industrial partners to develop innovative immunoassay products and antibody/protein-based therapeutics.

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