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Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal Antibody Naming Conventions



  • Monoclonal antibodies are named based on standard nomenclature that describes the target and species of origin of the antibody.
    • Nomenclature

      Monoclonal antibodies are named based on a combination of the following:
    • Prefix - random
    • Substem A - based on the target
    • Substem B - based on the species of origin of the antibody
    • Stem - mab

Substem A (Target)

  • -b(a)-: bacterial (e.g. raxibacumab)
  • -c(i)-: cardiovascular (e.g. abciximab)
  • -f(u): fungal (e.g. efungumab)
  • -k(i)-: interleukin (e.g. ustekinumab)
  • -l(i)-: immunomodulating (e.g. adalimumab)
  • -n(e)-: neurological (e.g. solanezumab)
  • -s(o)-: bone (e.g. denosumab)
  • -tox(a)-: toxin (e.g. obiltoxaximab)
  • -t(u)-: tumour (e.g. alemtuzumab)
  • -v(i)-: viral (e.g. palivizumab)

Substem B (Origin)

  • -e-: hamster
  • -i-: primate
  • -o-: mouse
  • -u-: human
  • -xi-: chimaeric
  • -xizu-: chimaeric / humanized hybrid
  • -zu-: humanized


  • Abciximab (ab-ci-xi-mab) - chimaeric monoclonal antibody with a cardiovascular target
  • Adalimumab (ada-lim-u-mab) - human monoclonal antibody with an immunomodulating target
  • Basiliximab (basi-li-xi-mab) - chimaeric monoclonal antibody with an immunomodulating target
  • Trastuzumab (tras-tu-zu-mab) - humanized monoclonal antibody with a tumour target
Last updated on January 17th, 2019


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