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Afrobodies (Pty) Ltd is a biotechnology company based in Cape Town, South Africa founded in 2016 and started operating in 2018. The core function of Afrobodies is being a recombinant alpaca antibody discovery company and its two co-founders are Dr Peter Durcan PhD and Ms Benedicta Durcan (EMBA). Afrobodies has a focus on 3 main markets (1) Life Science Research, (2) Diagnostics and (3) Therapeutics. All these markets have challenges to which recombinant alpaca antibodies discovered by Afrobodies can solve.

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Afrobodies' Mission

Afrobodies mission is to enable new scientific discoveries and develop novel products for diagnostic tests and disease treatments. We have previous experience of working with Academic and Research institutions. Afrobodies recombinant alpaca antibody discovery platform enables us to either use the platform for our own in-house projects or to make it available to external clients.

Why choose Nanobodies for your project?

The main advantages of Afrobodies recombinant alpaca antibody (nanobody) discovery platform over antibody discovery platforms using other animal species such as mice and rabbits are:

  • Probably the most advantageous property of nanobodies is the relative ease to which one can attach molecules such as radio isotopes, fluorescent probes, or chemical toxins in a one-to-one ratio. This means that the nanobodies can be modified with a wide variety of tags to suit different scientific research/diagnostic/therapeutic requirements.
  • The single domain structure of the camelid antibodies results in them being 10 times smaller than traditional antibodies yet still maintain their antigen binding ability. This small size enables them to access epitopes that are not accessible to larger, full-sized antibodies which is particularly relevant when targeting solid tumours. Nanobodies being small also makes them potentially useful therapeutic molecules that can cross the blood-brain barrier.
  •  Nanobodies developed by Afrobodies are shipped globally without the need for dry ice. This thermostable property of nanobodies reduces logistical challenges and costs for their transportation around the world, key considerations if looking to bring to market new diagnostics or therapeutics.
  • The ability of nanobodies to refold after heat denaturation is an advantageous property for those looking to develop products such as reusable diagnostic devices. Nanobodies can bind to their target to enable detection and then heat applied for the nanobody to release their target and cool down and refold to their original state.
  • Nanobodies can be easily expressed and purified in a wide variety of production systems ranging from bacteria to mammalian cell culture. This means they can be produced and purified in almost any laboratory in the world and at a relatively low cost. This ease of production contrasts to human monoclonal antibodies that can’t be produced in bacteria.

Why Afrobodies?

  • We understand from our clients that they all want their nanobodies yesterday! While we cannot provide that service 😊 we do have an optimised and streamlined service whereby as soon as we have your antigen our alpacas get to work on developing high quality nanobodies to it.
  • We provide our clients with the same proven discovery process that we use ourselves for our inhouse projects. An example of how well our inhouse discovery process works can be found from a project we ran with scientists from the UK and South Africa1
  • From our years of experience in the recombinant alpaca antibody discovery process, we have realised the importance of nanobody diversity to the successful outcome of projects. Therefore, we immunise at least 2 alpacas per project to provide customers with significant nanobody diversity to their target of interest. More alpacas can easily be immunised as per customer requirement.
  • We have access to a large herd of alpacas thus enabling us to run multiple projects at the same time which results in cost-savings for a client who wishes to run multiple projects at the same time.
  • We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service2 because we understand that a key consideration for clients is a high-quality nanobody that works in their specific application.  Our mantra is your success is our success.

Afrobodies Alpaca Farm

Afrobodies Alpacas on the farm near Cape Town

Calling all Alpaca lovers!

Order a custom recombinant alpaca antibody discovery project service through 2BScientifc before 30 April 2024, and you will receive a voucher to walk with one of our Alpacas on our scenic farm just outside Cape Town, South Africa. 
The farm has stunning views of the 8th wonder of the world – Table Mountain!

Terms and Conditions

  • Voucher does not include trip to Cape Town, South Africa
  • Voucher valid until June 2025
  • Voucher valid for 2 persons
  • Bookings to be made 1 month prior to the date of visiting the Alpaca farm
Calling all Alpaca lovers!

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