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The commercial application of a scientific discovery: The case of the hybridoma technique

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Abstract

This article is an examination of the diffusion of a particular scientific technique, the hybridoma/monoclonal antibody technique, focusing on its adoption (with various degrees of success) by five institutions in three countries - Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. - for use in diagnostic kits for Hepatitis B. As such, it is pertinent to the more general issue of the appropriation of scientific discovery for use in commercial products. Consequently the article also includes the exposition of a model to allow for a systematic comparison of the different strategies used by the institutions for adopting the hybridoma/monoclonal technique. The institution sample includes academic (research, hospitals), commercial (companies), and hybrid institutions.

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... 6. Mackenzie, Cambrosio, and Keating (1988). 7. The "technological trajectory" notion has been developed to great effect by Dosi (1984). ...
... 13). For a discussion in relation to the model see Mackenzie et al. (1988). For a somewhat critical discussion see Mackenzie (1985). ...
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... At nearly the same time in 1975, Cesar Milstein (a biochemist) and Georges Kohler (a biologist) developed the hybridoma technique which combined antibody producing B cells to mouse tumor cells. The discovery of genetic diversity and the hybridoma technique permitted scientists to create monoclonal antibodies of extremely high specificity in large enough quantities and helped them diagnose various diseases and infections accurately (Mackenzie et al., 1988;Cambrosio and Keating, 1992). Understanding the abilities of monoclonal antibodies for oncology, Lee Nadler, a 33 year old hematologist and oncologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, and his friend Phil Stashenko (an immunologist and trained dentist) developed a monoclonal antibody which could identify non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer. ...
... Afin de poursuivre ces interrogations, nous proposons d'étudier ici les deux points suivants : 1. Quels sont les arrangements contractuels ou les règles communes d'attribution des résultats mis au point par les laboratoires et les entreprises pour faciliter leur coopération? 2. Le modèle d'organisation de la science et de la technologie défendu par Dasgupta et David (1994), fondé sur la séparation entre "la République de la Science", gouvernée par les normes de la "science ouverte", et le "Royaume de la Technologie", régi par l'appropriation de la rente d'innovation, est-il satisfaisant au regard des nouvelles formes d'organisation qui se mettent en place, caractérisées par l'émergence d'institutions hybrides (Mackenzie et al., 1988) du CNRS prescrit que « les résultats de l'étude sont la propriété du CNRS » Seuls neuf contrats prévoient un partage des résultats entre le laboratoire e l'entreprise tandis que quatre accords attribuent la propriété des résultats au seu laboratoire. Les formules de copropriété portent principalement sur des travau de développement de prototypes commencés à l'université. ...
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This chapter discusses the strategies and procedures for the preparation of monoclonal antibodies (McAb). The derivation of permanent lines of hybrid cells, producing McAb, exhibiting certain desired properties, presents widely different degrees of difficulty. Desired properties include not only specific recognition of an antigen and other no less critical properties are the fine specificity of the antibody, avidity and kinetic parameters important for radioimmunoassays, cytotoxic properties necessary for direct complement-dependent lysis. The insoluble antigen and the antibody in the culture fluid are allowed to react. The free antibody is washed away. The amount of monoclonal antibody bound is measured directly or by binding of a second, labeled antibody capable of recognizing the first. Monoclonal antibodies can be easily labeled internally at high specific activity, using radioactive amino acid precursors. The choice of these is based on the efficiency of incorporation of labeled amino acids into secreted immunoglobulin in culture conditions. The hemagglutination assays are based on the ability of an antibody to agglutinate red cells, carrying the specific antigen. These assays have all the advantages in terms of extreme simplicity, speed, and direct visual reading of the results.
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