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Viral Reference Materials

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Viral reference materials are crucial for standardization and reproducibility in gene therapy

Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based vectors are important vehicles for clinical gene therapy and other applications. However, investigators were unable to standardize vector doses, even with the use of specific protocols and the same reagents.1 Motivated by this challenge, scientists came together nearly 20 years ago as members of the Adenovirus Reference Material Working Group (ARMWG) to develop viral reference standard materials for gene therapy. Their goal was to use adenovirus reference standard materials (RSMs) in the calibration of vector standards within individual laboratories and improve preclinical and clinical data comparisons using common dosages.2 The adenovirus reference standard material was developed to define the particle titer, vector genome titer, and infectious titer for adenovirus-based gene vectors.3 

The global availability of adenovirus RSMs permits the standardization of quantification techniques between research and manufacturing organizations and makes interpretation of preclinical and clinical data easier to compare across the field. The adenovirus RSMs are intended for use as internationally accepted standards for the purpose of calibrating internal product-specific reference materials.

See our adenovirus reference material products below to support standardization and precision in global gene therapy research.

1 Lock M, McGorray S, et al. Characterization of a Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Type 2 Reference Standard Material, Oct 21(10):1273-85, 2010.

2 Moullier P, Snyder RO. Recombinant adeno-associated viral vector reference standards. Methods Enzymol, 507:297-311, 2012.

3 Hutchins B. Development of a Reference Material for Characterizing Adenovirus Vectors. BioProcess J 1(1): 25-29, 2002.

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Animal virus reference strains

If you’re looking for other viral reference strains, ATCC’s collection of animal viruses and related reference materials are available to the global scientific community to support basic research and diagnostic development.

These authenticated and fully characterized materials include those relevant to major public health emergencies such as Zika virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus, and the Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Human adenovirus type 5 reference material

All stocks of the Human adenovirus type 5 Reference Material (ATCC VR-1516) have been depleted. The Adenovirus Reference Material Working Group (ARMWG) is currently working with ATCC, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and industry partners to produce more of this material; the ISBioTech website provides updates as available. 

We have found that researchers have begun purchasing Human adenovirus type 5 (ATCC VR-5) in lieu of the Human adenovirus type 5 Reference Material (ATCC VR-1516) during this time. While the Human adenovirus type 5 Reference Material (ATCC VR-1516) was developed from Human adenovirus type 5 (ATCC VR-5), it must be noted that Human adenovirus type 5 (ATCC VR-5) is not highly purified or as extensively characterized as the reference material and thus may not be suitable for all applications.

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Viral Reference Materials

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