The selection of lead candidates in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is a critical decision. Designing a mAb that exhibits all the desired biological and pharmaceutical properties is challenging, and therefore, this process is primarily empirical. The classification of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) based on their binding behavior can be a valuable tool for selecting promising candidates for further development. Such classification often involves grouping mAbs with similar epitope binding regions, which are known to share similar biological functions.
Epitope binning studies are commonly used to classify mAbs into these groups and involve pairwise testing of all mAbs against each other. A classical epitope binning assay typically involves first binding an antigen with the desired epitope to a mAb candidate. Then, a second mAb is added, and the results are interpreted based on whether binding occurs or not. If binding occurs, it is assumed that the second mAb targets a different epitope. Conversely, if binding is blocked, it suggests that the binding epitopes are the same or closely related. Overall, epitope binning studies can provide useful information for selecting and characterizing mAbs for therapeutic applications.