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A workshop entitled "Challenges and Opportunities in Evaluating Protein Allergenicity across Biotechnology Industries" was held at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in San Francisco, California. The workshop was sponsored by the Biotechnology Specialty Section of SOT and was designed to present the science-based approaches used in biotechnology industries to evaluate and regulate protein allergenicity. A panel of experts from industry and government highlighted the allergenicity testing requirements and research in the agricultural, pharmaceutical/biopharma, and vaccine biotechnology industries and addressed challenges and opportunities for advancing the science of protein allergenicity. The main learning from the workshop was that immunoglobulin E-mediated allergenicity of biotechnology-derived products is difficult to assess without human data. The approaches currently being used to evaluate potential for allergenicity across biotechnology industries are very different and range from bioinformatics, in vitro serology, in vivo animal testing, in vitro and in vivo functional assays, and "biosimilar" assessments (ie, biotherapeutic equivalents to innovator products). The challenge remains with regard to the different or lack of regulatory requirements for allergenicity testing across industries, but the novel approaches being used with bioinformatics and biosimilars may lead to opportunities in the future to collaborate across biotechnology industries.


Nicola J Stagg, Hanan N Ghantous, Gregory S Ladics, Robert V House, Steven M Gendel, Kenneth L Hastings. Workshop proceedings: challenges and opportunities in evaluating protein allergenicity across biotechnology industries. International journal of toxicology. 2013 Jan-Feb;32(1):4-10

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PMID: 23324160

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