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Abcam PLC
Public company
Traded asLSEABC
IndustryBiotech, Life sciences
Key people
Alan Hirzel (CEO). Tony Kouzarides, David Cleevely, Jonathan Milner (Founders).
ProductsResearch antibodies, kits and assays for biological research
RevenueIncrease £259.0m (2019)[1]
Increase £62.2m (2018)[2]
Number of employees
> 1250 (2019)[1]

Abcam is a producer, distributor and seller of protein research tools.


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.[3] 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.[4]

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 listed on the London Stock Exchange.[5]


In May 2011, Abcam announced the acquisition of MitoSciences, a privately held biotech company based in Eugene, Oregon (US).[6] 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. After outsourcing biochemical production, the Bristol site and manufacturing facilities were closed in 2017.[7]

On 19 April 2012, Abcam completed the purchase of Epitomics. Epitomics was a privately held biotech company in Burlingame, 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] Firefly was rebranded to FirePlex in 2016.[11]

On 11 November 2015, Abcam announced the acquisition of AxioMx.[12] AxioMx, based in Branford, Connecticut (US), "provides a comprehensive custom recombinant antibody discovery and development services platform".[13]

Abcam acquired Calico Biolabs in January 2019.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Abcam 2015 Annual Report" (PDF). Abcam PLC. September 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Abcam PLC".
  3. ^ "Abcam - the next giant of the Life Sciences?". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Abcam plc investor relations - Abcam story". Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  5. ^ "ABCAM share price (ABC) - London Stock Exchange". Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Abcam Completes $6M Takeover of Mitochondrial Research Tools Specialist MitoSciences". Genetic Engineering & Biology News. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Abcam H1 2018 Interim Report" (PDF). Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Abcam to buy Epitomics of San Francisco for $170M". MarketWatch. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  9. ^ "BRIEF-Abcam to buy Firefly Bioworks for 18.5 mln stg". Reuters. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  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. ^ Dutton, Gail. "Wisdom of the Antibody Crowd". GEN. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Abcam acquires AxioMx to access new growth opportunities and extend antibody leadership". Cambridge Network. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Corporate Overview -". Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Abcam acquires Calico Biolabs". Manufacturing Chemist. HPCi Media. Retrieved 16 September 2019.

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