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Abcam PLC
Public company
Traded as LSEABC
Industry Biotech, Life sciences
Founded 1998
Key people
Alan Hirzel (CEO). Tony Kouzarides, David Cleevely, Jonathan Milner (Founders).
Products Research antibodies, kits and assays for biological research
Revenue Increase £144.0m (2015)[1]
Profit Increase £49.6m (2015)[1]
Number of employees
> 820 (2015)[1]


The company was founded in 1998 by Jonathan Milner with co-founders Professor Tony Kouzarides and David Cleevely, with the idea of making it easier for research scientists to buy antibodies across the web.[2] Milner was a postdoctoral researcher studying the newly discovered breast cancer protein BRCA2 in Kouzarides' Cambridge University laboratory. The project had slowed because of problems finding quality antibody reagents that had honest and up-to-date information about their uses and limitations. This scenario provided the motivation to form an on-line service that would help themselves and researchers across the globe.[3]

Since its inception in 1998, the company has diversified from carrying only antibodies. It supplies antibody related products such as immunoassays (e.g. SimpleStep ELISA Kits), peptides, proteins and protein detection products (e.g. immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining kits. Abcam also has a portfolio of non-antibody related products such as biochemicals, cellular assays, and epigenetics kits (e.g. Firefly Multiplex miRNA Kits).

Abcam is a life-science e-commerce company which facilitates public customer feedback on products using reviews and ratings submitted by customers. This has given rise to the nickname "the Amazon of antibodies".[4][5]

Abcam is listed on the London Stock Exchange.[6]


In May 2011, Abcam announced the acquisition of MitoSciences, a privately held biotech company based in Eugene, Oregon (US).[7] The company produced and distributed immunoassay platforms and high performance monoclonal antibodies. It was founded in 2004 with the mission of advancing mitochondrial research and developing products that support critical research in cancer, neurodegeneration, and metabolic disorders.

On 12 September 2011, Abcam completed the purchase of Ascent Scientific. Ascent Scientific was a company based in Bristol, United Kingdom that provided high-quality biochemical products that modulate the function of proteins for use in life science research.

On 19 April 2012, Abcam completed the purchase of Epitomics. Epitomics was a privately held biotech company in San Francisco, California (US) and Hangzhou (China) that focused on the development, production, and distribution of rabbit monoclonal antibodies for biomedical research and diagnostic applications.[8]

On 20 January 2015, Abcam announced the acquisition of Firefly BioWorks, a privately held company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (US),[9] for £18,500,000.[10] Firefly developed a novel multiplex assay platform for the detection of biomarkers, based on a microfabrication technology developed by Daniel Pregibon and Patrick Doyle at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and launched its first products for the multiplex detection of microRNA from RNA and crude biofluid.[10]

On 11 November 2015, Abcam announced the acquisition of AxioMx.[11] AxioMx, based in Branford, Connecticut (US), "provides a comprehensive custom recombinant antibody discovery and development services platform".[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Abcam 2015 Annual Report" (PDF). Abcam PLC. September 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Abcam - the next giant of the Life Sciences?". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  3. ^ "Abcam plc investor relations - Abcam story". Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  4. ^ "Midas Extra share tips: Abcam & Vectura". This Is Money. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "Babraham to spin out antibody tyro". Business Weekly. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "ABCAM share price (ABC) - London Stock Exchange". Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  7. ^ "Abcam Completes $6M Takeover of Mitochondrial Research Tools Specialist MitoSciences". Genetic Engineering & Biology News. 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  8. ^ "Abcam to buy Epitomics of San Francisco for $170M". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  9. ^ "BRIEF-Abcam to buy Firefly Bioworks for 18.5 mln stg". Reuters. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  10. ^ a b Staff (15 February 2015). "Abcam Buys Firefly for $28M to Broaden Multiplex Analysis Capabilities". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (paper). 35 (4). p. 6. 
  11. ^ "Abcam acquires AxioMx to access new growth opportunities and extend antibody leadership". Cambridge Network. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  12. ^ "Corporate Overview -". Retrieved 2015-12-21. 

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