Under the title "The Antibody Challenge" Jeffrey M. Perkel wrote in BioTechniques
(BioTechniques, March 2014, pp. 111-114) about the issues of reproducibility. In his interesting article he also described the independent validation initiative and interviewed our collegue Stefan Pellenz, who runs the validation initiative at antibodies-online:
"Recently, Iorns launched a new effort to help. In collaboration with antibody distributor antibodies-online.com, the ScienceExchange Independent Validation Initiative
pairs vendors with independent labs that can provide third-party validation of antibody efficacy for several hundred dollars per test.
The initiative kicked off in July 2013 but has only gained traction in the past few months, says Iorns. “We've done hundreds of tests so far, and we're planning to do 10,000 this year.”
Successfully validated antibodies are awarded a green check mark “badge” for the vendor's web site. “We are trying to establish this as kind of a sign of quality,” says Stefan Pellenz, who runs the validation initiative at antibodies-online. But companies gain more from the process than just a logo, he adds; it is also a marketing tool, conveying to users that their reagent vendors take quality control seriously. Furthermore, the validating labs can work with the vendor (via Science Exchange) for troubleshooting. In one case, an ELISA kit shipped with a bad dilution buffer that was masking the target protein signal. Once the lab figured that out and reported it back to the vendor, the kit was updated subsequently passed validation “with flying colors,” Pellenz says.