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GlykoGen Limited was formed and registered in Scotland, in October 2016 by its founder Dr Kimberley Mackenzie. GlykoGen’s product pipeline of engineered monoclonal antibodies are produced using their novel immunisation process and antibody platform. Delivering to both the research and therapeutics markets, antibodies against glycans which had previously been difficult to generate. These high-affinity class-switched (IgG) antibodies target carbohydrates found on the surface of cancerous cells.

GlykoGen will create, screen, modify and demonstrate the action of the antibodies against glycans found on cells linked to various cancers of the breast, pancreas, colon, lung, ovary and kidney. GlykoGen’s product pipeline includes unique rabbit antibodies which are not currently commercially available. Suitable therapeutic candidates will be licenced to pharmaceutical companies along with the accompanying data package.

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Revolutionising Anti-Glycan Antibody Development

GlykoGen offer engineered monoclonal antibodies, which are produced using their novel immunisation process and antibody platform. The resulting recombinant rabbit antibodies target carbohydrates found on the surface of cancerous cells as well as on cells during early development, including key subsets of stem cells. We offer our antibodies against glycans to both the research and therapeutic markets.

Advantages of GlykoGen's Antibodies

 Our novel immunisation strategy is able to stimulate an immune response to otherwise non-immunogenic glycans

  • Our recombinant rabbit IgG antibodies include reagents against targets for which there are no other antibodies currently available

  • Rabbit IgG antibodies offer a more user-friendly and high-quality solution than any mouse monoclonal antibodies currently available against glycans than

The biological importance of glycans

Glycans are as-yet unexploited drug targets. They play a role in almost every biological process and are involved in every major disease, but their role in cancer is not well explored, predominantly due to the difficulties of producing antibodies to glycans which do not generally produce a strong immune response.

Glycans are molecules made up of combinations of different sugar units, such as glucose. These units can link together to form complex, three-dimensional structures. Unlike DNA and proteins, glycans are not created by following a template. Instead, the reactions that link individual sugar units together are influenced by factors including cellular metabolism, cell type, developmental stage, and nutrient availability. These factors provide substantial diversity and allow for glycans with a wide array of properties, but they also make glycans much more difficult to study and manipulate in the laboratory.
GlykoGen have developed a novel immunisation process that produces recombinant monoclonal rabbit IgG antibodies that are specific to glycan antigens.

GlykoGen's Technology

Glycans have traditionally proven a difficult target for antibody production, with their ubiquitous presence on all animal and plant cells and small size leading to a lack of immunogenicity. Our proprietary immunisation process is GlykoGen’s key difference from other antibody producers. In addition to our novel immunisation strategy, the use of rabbits as host animal confers certain advantages. In evolutionary terms, rabbits are relatively distant from humans and so their glycans are more likely to stimulate a response, and less likely to harm the animal by creating auto antibodies. Rabbits are also adept at making antibodies to small targets, so they are the ideal host for anti-glycan antibody production. We utilise antibody phage display technology to generate optimised, high-affinity and specific antibodies from RNA isolated from these immunised rabbits.

Why use GlykoGen antibodies?

One of the key problems that GlykoGen products solve for researchers is a lack of available reagent options. Currently, there are very few antibodies available; most are of the IgM or IgG3 class and are therefore of low affinity, can be difficult to handle and have restricted applications. Alternatively, mass spectrometry techniques which can be used to assay patient tumour tissue sections are highly specialist, time-consuming and expensive.

Consequently, they are beyond the reach of most labs. Good quality IgG antibodies, especially ones that can be used in multiple applications, will be key to advancing the study of these targets both
in cancer and stem cell biology.


Glykogen introduces a new rabbit IgG monoclonal antibody recognising Stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4).
The Anti-SSEA-4 is a ganglioside which consists of a glycosphingolipid (GSL) containing a terminal sialic acid residue (N-acetylneuraminic acid). It is widely used as a specific marker for pluripotent stem cells as it is expressed in the inner cell mass but subsequently loses expression upon differentiation. It is reported to play an important role in the malignant behaviour of a number of cancers where their expression changes both qualitatively and quantitatively during development, differentiation and in tumorigenesis.  
SSEA-4 is known to be correlated with disease progression and is effectively proposed as a novel marker to identify heterogeneous, invasive subpopulations of tumour cells. Increased cell-surface SSEA-4 expression is associated with the loss of cell–cell interactions and the gain of a migratory phenotype, suggesting an important role of SSEA-4 in cancer invasion by influencing cellular adhesion to the extracellular matrix. The availability of this antibody will facilitate studies into SSEA-4 expression and function, both in stem cell biology and in cancer studies.
Studies of SSEA-4 expression and function have been restricted by a lack of availability of reagent. Glykogen have overcome these reagent challenges by using their proprietary immunisation methods to develop Clone F8, a recombinant monoclonal rabbit IgG antibody validated in ELISA, IHC and Immunoblotting.




Sialyl LewisX (sLeX) is a tetrasaccharide carbohydrate that has essential roles in cell-to-cell recognition, acting as a ligand for the adhesion molecules E- and L-selectin

The biosynthetic enzymes of 3-SLeX are expressed in cell lines with high metastatic potential. Therefore, the expression of 3-SLeX is important for identifying tumours with poor prognosis and a higher likelihood of progression and metastasis. 3-SLeX has been found to be expressed at high levels in the mucins from the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the most important pathogen for infection in  CF patients, preferentially binds to the 3'sulfo form of LeX.


Rabbit anti-3'Sulfo Lewis X

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