The World Health Organization (WHO) issues International Nonproprietary Names (INN) for therapeutic antibodies. These INNs contain the suffix –mab preceded by a source (or species) infix such as -xi- for chimeric, -zu- for humanized and -u- for human antibodies. Changes in definitions and procedures, which WHO implemented in 2014, resulted in INN with inconsistent source designations for an array of chimeric and humanized antibodies. Discussions spearheaded by The Antibody Society have now led to a resolution of the issue. At the 64th Consultation on INN held in April 2017, the WHO INN expert group decided to eliminate the source infix. Although the change was officially announced today, WHO implemented the changes promptly and applicants have already received INN issued under the new naming scheme, i.e., without an INN source infix. The Antibody Society board members Paul W.H.I. Parren, Paul J. Carter and Andreas Plückthun provide analysis and more information in a Perspective article that will be published in the upcoming August/September 2017 issue of mAbs. Society members will be alerted by email when this article is available for downloading from the ‘Latest Articles’ section of the mAbs website.
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