How our immunoassay tech is driving science further, faster

7 min read


When you hear the name Abcam, what comes to mind?


Our antibodies are among the most cited in research papers worldwide. Over the years, our name has become a byword for trusted antibodies.

But high-performing antibodies are just one part of our broader mission: to help accelerate the next breakthrough in life science research. For over a decade, we’ve been pioneering immunoassay technology designed to do just that.

61 years
saved at the bench with abcam’s SimpleStep ELISA kits since 2012

1,300
kits available covering 1,000+ key protein targets

Abcam sparked the ready-to-use 90-minute ELISA kit revolution


Launched in 2012, our SimpleStep ELISA® kits revolutionized ELISAs and accelerated lab workflows by generating data in just 90 minutes or less, using recombinant antibodies for exceptional specificity, sensitivity and consistency. A traditional ELISA takes around four hours.

Since 2012, our SimpleStep ELISA® kits have saved researchers over 538,000 hours at the bench, or more than 61 years. We now offer over 1,300 kits covering 1,000+ key protein targets.

Our SimpleStep ELISA® kits are powered by our CaptSure™ system, an innovative assay technology which binds assay antibodies to the analyte in solution, and then immobilizes them on the surface through a CaptSure™ tag, for a faster, simpler protocol.

“Its speed and simplicity bring you answers and solutions so much faster,” says Antony Sheehan, Abcam’s Director of Immunoassays. “You can get more done and build on that energy. You’re only limited by your imagination, work ethic, and thirst for data.”


Our SureFire® immunoassay drives big pharma’s drug discovery


Our CaptSure™ system also powers our SureFire® assay. SureFire® is the heart of AlphaLISA® SureFire® Ultra™, the pharmaceutical industry’s go-to platform for highthroughput research and drug discovery efforts. SureFire® assays enable the rapid, sensitive and quantitative detection of phosphoproteins from cells, a critical process for helping researchers obtain more accurate results in biotherapeutic drug discovery research.

The assay uses beads to capture antibodies – a donor bead coated with streptavidin captures the biotinylated antibody, while an acceptor bead coated with abcam’s proprietary CaptSure™ antibody immobilizes the other, which is then labeled with a CaptSure™ tag.

SureFire® is manufactured by TGR BioSciences, owned by abcam, and sold exclusively by Revvity (formerly known as PerkinElmer) in a key partnership built on our shared goal of empowering researchers.

“We’ve experienced superior sensitivity and performance in our cellular and biochemical assays thanks to SureFire®,” says Dr Allan R. Reyes, Senior Principal Scientist at Pfizer Global Research and Development’s Internal Medicine Research Unit.

“It’s become our go-to format in interrogating PPIs, ligand binding, CETSA, cellular total, and phosphoprotein measurements, and has enabled work now published in highimpact journals, including Nature Communications.” “TGR’s combination of unrivaled customer support for custom applications and off-the-shelf options has made a significant impact in driving the in-vitro pharmacology efforts of various targets in our portfolio.”

While SimpleStep ELISA®s accelerate lower-throughput studies, the homogeneous, no-wash AlphaLISA® SureFire® format is ideal for high-throughput screening, with nearly 400 SureFire® assays servicing therapeutic areas such as oncology, neurodisease, metabolism, autophagy and more.

“We’ve experienced superior sensitivity and performance in our cellular and biochemical assays thanks to SureFire®. It’s become our go-to format”

Dr Allan R. Reyes

“The Alpha® SureFire® kits are one of the only platforms I’ve used that has been able to give me such beautiful data, which elucidates pathways and MoA reliably,” says Dr Jonathan Proto, Principal Scientist in Precision Neurology for Rare and Neurologic Diseases Research at Sanofi US.

“The flexible, low-to-high throughput assay formats allowed us to use the same readout for both primary cells and other cell lines, and the assay/lysis buffers were also compatible across many assays, allowing us to interrogate multiple readouts from the same sample.”

SureFire® is also a powerful tool for academic research. “Our partnership with TGR BioSciences offered a unique opportunity to develop two high-sensitivity immunoassays directed against α-synuclein, a key target implicated in the development of several brain disorders,” says Dr Benjamin Trist, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. “These are the only assays to exhibit reactivity for this target in humans and mice.”

“This partnership has global implications, providing new tools to advance basic and translational research into several devastating brain disorders impacting millions of people worldwide.”

Our immunoassays deliver access to the world’s biggest range of recombinant antibodies


Both our SimpleStep ELISA® kits and SureFire® can deliver superior sensitivity, specificity, and consistency thanks to our range of 28,000+ exceptional recombinant antibodies.

Recombinant technology overcomes many problems with polyclonal and traditional monoclonal antibodies, including low reproducibility and genetic drift, by cloning specific antibody genes into vectors in vitro, delivering sensitivity, speed and scale.

We use knock-out cell lines to validate specificity and eliminate any doubts about cross-reactivity, with 3,800+ knock-out-validated recombinant antibodies in an ever-expanding range. As the gene sequence is known, recombinants can be used time and time again, and expression carried out at almost any scale – so antibody supply is guaranteed.

“This makes our recombinant antibodies a great solution for long-term studies, or for using the same antibody across multiple applications,” says Andrew Ball, Abcam’s VicePresident of Assay Development. Researchers are able to take advantage of abcam’s high-performing recombinant technology in their own immunoassays, whatever format or scale they choose to run.

The same antibody pairs used in our SimpleStep ELISA® kits are also available for researchers to use – even the individual capture and detector antibodies. Plus, they’re available in a carrier-free format for flexibility and ease of conjugation, with more than 1,500 matched antibody pairs in a growing portfolio.

Now, we’re powering predictive diagnostics, too – detecting kidney disease before it starts


At Abcam, we collaborate with research organizations worldwide to identify cutting-edge antibody targets to improve researchers’ understanding of diseases. Our passion for partnership also unlocks the potential of our immunoassay technology to do the same directly for patients.

In 2016, we teamed up with Proteomics International Laboratories in Australia to help develop their exceptional PromarkerD diagnostic tool, once again powered by our CaptSure™ system.

PromarkerD uses a biomarker-based blood test to predict the risk of kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes who are too often missed by standard tests.

“For PromarkerD, we wanted an immunoassay that would be simple and efficient to use in large global markets”

Dr Richard Lipscomb

PromarkerD uses a panel of novel biomarkers effective in diagnosing and predicting diabetic kidney disease, including ApoA4, CD5L and IGFBP3. The blood test data is then delivered to a proprietary algorithm hub in Perth, Australia for analysis.

“For PromarkerD, we wanted an immunoassay that would be simple and efficient to use in large global markets,” says Dr Richard Lipscombe, Managing Director of Proteomics International Laboratories. “The CaptSure™ system provided an elegant solution, achieving both a fast-performing assay and economical use of reagents.”

PromarkerD has since become a world leader in predictive diagnostic tools, shown in validated clinical studies to have predicted 86% of otherwise healthy patients who went on to develop diabetic kidney disease within the next four years.

Around 32 million people (about twice the population of New York) suffer from type 2 diabetes in the United States alone, where diabetes-associated chronic kidney disease causes 40,000 deaths per year. Promarker D empowers patients to take early preventative measures such as diet and lifestyle changes to help prevent serious kidney damage before it occurs.

Progress happens together


At abcam, we’re known for our exceptional antibodies, but they’re just one part of the reason why we’re here: To help accelerate progress in life science. We created our immunoassay technology to empower researchers to get more done, because we believe the scientific community goes further, faster when we go there together.


SureFire is a registered trademark of TGR BioSciences Pty Ltd, Australia. SureFire Ultra and CaptSure are trademarks of TGR BioSciences Pty Ltd, Australia. PerkinElmer and AlphaLISA are registered trademarks of PerkinElmer, Inc.

Explore our SimpleStep ELISA® kits

Highly sensitive 90-minute ELISAs, with just one wash step and no compromise on performance.