What is the source of your biospecimens?
ABS works with a network of hospitals, clinics, and tissue banks throughout the world. Most are located within the United States. These sites are evaluated with respect to legal, ethical, and scientific criteria before being admitted to our network.
What regulations do you follow?
ABS and its global tissue acquisition network follow all applicable laws and regulations. These include appropriate informed consent or donor-family consent for all non-remnant samples. We ensure that all samples you receive comply with Institutional Review Board and other appropriate ethical and regulatory review processes. All samples that you receive are de-identified prior to shipment to ABS to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other regulations.
Material transfer agreements (MTAs) are in place between each of these organizations. The MTA's provide for the use of the biospecimens for biomedical research purposes. This includes commercial purposes such as drug discovery with no follow-through intellectual property rights.
What data do you supply?
All biospecimens are supplied with basic demographic data and relevant diagnosis. Pathology reports and other medical information may be available upon request. No personal identifiers are ever provided with this information.
Additionally, ABS can provide various types of analytical data such as expression analyses, gene analyses, and immunohistochemical evaluations upon request.
What QC do you do?
Consent forms and other documentation such as SOPs are reviewed prior to working with any tissue source site. Then, we typically undertake a trial request in which we do histopathological verifications of the tissue and evaluate RIN values (RNA integrity numbers) as one index of tissue quality. If these evaluations are satisfactory, we initiate sample collections with the group. Thereafter, FFPEs are photographed and evaluated for size. Other samples may be periodically checked for RIN values.
All samples and data are checked for conformity to client purchase orders prior to shipment. In addition, we check back with every client to ensure that we met all specifications and have addressed all concerns.
How long does it take to complete an order?
Most client cells are placed into
What QC do you do?
All cell lines are tested for sterility and mycoplasma. They can also be screened with various viral panels upon request. Cell line authentication is available based upon their genetic profiles (i.e., small tandem repeat [STR] signatures).
How large an order can you do?
Our labs have the capacity to produce more than 100 billion adherent cells per month and up to 2,000 liters of suspension cells per month. Our teams can also produce large single batches (up to 1,000 vials per bank) of assay-ready frozen cells for screening campaigns.
We have a demonstrated ability to increase these capacities if needed, with turnaround times similar to what you would experience in your own laboratories.
Pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the world. We routinely ship to Europe and Asia. Because we receive human biospecimens from a large network of tissue sources throughout the world, we are highly experienced with sample logistics and chain-of-custody operations.
What mammalian cells have you grown?
Many of the cell lines that ABS grows, such as hybridomas, are proprietary to our clients, so we cannot disclose those lines. We have grown hundreds of different cell lines as well as tumor cells and normal primary cells.
What primary cells have you isolated?
ABS has prepared adipocytes, endothelial cells, epithelial cells, fibroblasts, keratinocytes, muscle cells, neurons, pancreatic cells, splenocytes, tumor cells, and other cell types.
Can you help us with R&D?
ABS has many years’ experience and expertise in R&D, and we can assist you with methods development and exploratory research. Contact us to learn more.
How do we work with you to customize orders?
ABS works as part of your team to make sure you receive exactly what you specify. Your first point of contact will be one of our Business Development Managers. They will discuss all details of your request with you and bring on additional ABS technical personnel as needed to ensure that we fully understand and can implement your request—just as if ABS were your own laboratory.
Once we receive a purchase order, we will begin your order, and our Client Services department will keep you informed every step of the way.
How does this affect pricing?
ABS is deeply experienced at working with our clients in a highly collaborative manner. We have done so since our founding in 1990, and there are no additional charges for this service.
Where are you located?
Our headquarters facility is located in Wilmington, Delaware. The 14,000-square-foot facility is monitored 24 hours with security cameras and alarm systems. About 70 percent of the facility is laboratory space, and the remainder is office space. Additionally, we have offices in San Diego, San Francisco, and Indianapolis. ABS employees also work off-site at three client locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Massachusetts.
How many laboratories do you have?
We have eight total labs, plus storage space. Our Wilmington location has three large cell culture production laboratories, plus a small cell culture laboratory for quarantine. These laboratories house several laminar flow hoods, dozens of large humidified CO2 incubators, roller bottle cabinets, a FiberCell Hollow Fiber system, and bioreactors.
We have additional laboratories for membrane preparations, human tissue processing, IHC/histology, and DNA and RNA extractions, and have approximately 3,000 square feet dedicated to LN2 and -80°C sample storage.
How do you keep your storage spaces secure?
Beyond physical security, including locks and cameras, we have internal and external temperature alarms, backup natural gas power generation (tested at least monthly), and backup LN2 supplies. Spaces are monitored daily by manual inspection and 24 hours by dual Sensaphone® 1800 monitoring systems. If an issue arises, a call chain of staff is alerted until the issue is rectified. This system is tested at least biweekly.
The Vaisala Continuous Monitoring system also provides continuous temperature monitoring and recording of freezer temperatures that is monitored online. The LN2 freezer room has a nitrogen gas detector for leak detection to protect personnel and notify us of any events that might compromise sample integrity.
In addition, all cryogenic storage systems are backed up by a direct connection to liquid nitrogen containers. These containers automatically maintain freezer temperatures in case of a mechanical failure and are monitored by a CYL-TEL-2 telemetry system. Online access is always available and checked twice daily. Several LN2 suppliers are located nearby. We also maintain adequate backup space in case of a freezer malfunction.
What equipment do you use?
ABS currently has numerous tabletop, high-speed, and ultra-centrifuges for pelleting and processing cells. Depending on centrifugation speeds, we can centrifuge more than 10 liters at a time.
ABS is highly experienced at using all commonly used cell culture apparatus, including triple flasks, multi-layer cell factories, Hyperflasks®
ABS’ biochemical laboratories are fully equipped for most research projects. Equipment includes:
What is your minimum order?
Minimum orders are $500. We accept purchase orders, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Where do I find prices?
Our work is done on a custom basis. Please contact us. After discussing and understanding your needs, we will send you a Price Quotation for your specific request.
When will we receive our order?
For each order, ABS provides an estimated time frame and a promise date. These time frames are determined on a case by case basis depending on the work order and can be found on each quote that ABS provides. Additionally, our team will be in contact throughout the order process, notifying you of any updates, shipments, or delays.
How will our order be shipped?
Orders are shipped in appropriate temperature-controlled containers. Packages are tracked throughout their progress. IATA regulations are followed for all shipments.
Orders can be shipped on dry ice, in liquid nitrogen (in Dewar), frozen cold packs, refrigerated cold packs, or ambient.
Tracking information is provided for each shipment on the day it is shipped via email indicating the courier and method of shipment. Tracking status is followed to ensure arrival at your destination address.
We typically use FedEx for all shipments unless another courier is specified by the client. We are able to ship with a multitude of other specialty couriers at your request. Same-day shipping is available for some orders.
What’s your quality assurance process?
To ensure we get it done right from the start, we take the time to understand all of your requirements. We then send you a price quote, detailing project protocols, and/or statements of work. Once you approve the price quote and send us a purchase order, our team will get to work.
All experimental data, cell and tissue information, and other data are recorded in our database so that our organization stays on track with your requests and orders. You are consulted and kept informed throughout the entire process.
Do you offer any guarantees?
ABS guarantees that any work or preparations, which are routinely done in your lab, will be similar when ABS does it for you. This excludes experimental and non-reproducible protocols, as well as any preparation or work that lack reproducible characteristics. If there are ever any issues, we will either replace or redo the product or service at our expense or issue a refund─your choice.
What are your quality standards and do you have any quality certifications?
ABS is ISO 9001:2015-certified for the provision of cell culture services, human biospecimens, custom biological reagents, and other services for research. We also conduct regular internal and external audits of our processes to ensure the most rigorous quality standards. Additionally, our instruments are regularly calibrated.
How do I know where my project stands?
Our secure database tracks every aspect of our collaboration with you so that projects stay on track and you are kept informed. All ABS client and supplier interactions, including call records and emails; all client forms, data, tasks, notes, and reports; all shipping and logistics information; and all financial and accounting information, including invoicing and all project expenditures, are tracked in our database in real time. This allows any member of our team to provide you with the best service.
We can send you detailed, customized reports detailing the progress of your projects on a regular basis, or we can set up a secure SharePoint® site for data sharing.
What do you do with our information?