Fully Traceable, Clinical-Grade KLH

Land-Based Aquaculture

Due to the controlled conditions of land-based aquaculture, we can trace each Stellar KLH™ lot back to the individual source animals.

GMP Manufacturing

Under GMP systems, Stellar KLH protein has been extracted from limpets utilizing a non-harmful method and forward processed to various formulations.

Regulatory Support

We maintain Drug Master Files (DMF) that can be referenced by our clients with clinical development studies.

Decades of Development

Stellar KLH™ is the culmination of decades of highly specialized research and development in the manufacture of KLH protein and a range of disciplines – from marine sciences to immunology and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The Intricate Topology of KLH Molecular Structure 

Well Known and Versatile

KLH is widely used in immunological applications, both as a carrier molecule in certain immunotherapies (therapeutic vaccines) and as a finished product for testing immune status in patients and research settings.

There are more than 3,600 publications referencing Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin in biomedical literature.

KLH Isoforms and Functional Units

KLH is expressed in two isoforms (KLH1 and KLH2) assembled into decamers and didecamers of 4 MDa to 8 MDa molecular weight. The subunit isoforms (approximately 400-600 kDa monomeric molecular weight) are each composed of 7 or 8 functional unit; each unit having an oxygen binding site of two copper atoms.

Both the high molecular weight native molecule and subunit KLH are excellent immune stimulants.

Therapeutic Vaccines

KLH is an effective and safe carrier molecule in active immunotherapies being developed for the treatment of cancer, inflammatory diseases, immune disorders and Alzheimer’s disease, among other diseases.

As a carrier molecule, KLH is combined, or conjugated, to vaccine antigens that are used to promote the generation of antibody and cell-mediated immune responses against targeted diseases. By themselves, the small haptens (partial antigens) and vaccine antigens used to target these diseases are not usually immunogenic enough to awaken the immune system and therefore, require a carrier molecule or adjuvant, like KLH, in order to be effective. KLH is ideal in this role due to its immune-stimulating properties, large size, numerous sites for antigen conjugation, and safety profile.


KLH has diagnostic applications as a finished injectable product. It is extensively used by pharmaceutical companies and researchers as a safe, immune-stimulating antigen in drug immunotoxicology and assessment of immune status.

KLH is a standard immunogen in T-Cell Dependent Antibody Response (TDAR), a functional assay used to assess an antibody response. TDAR with KLH is widely recognized as a test for monitoring the effects of drugs on the immune system.

Innovative Aquaculture

Our aquaculture technologies were specially developed for production and research of the Giant Keyhole Limpet. 

A Powerful Immune Stimulant

Due in part to its controlled aquaculture source and manufacturing methods, Stellar KLH has been shown to reliably produce vigorous primary and secondary immune responses.

Traceable from native source to finished product

Known origin of material, continuity of data

Stabilized, liquid formulations; never lyophilized

High purity, low endotoxin

Environmentally sound practices

Scalable supplies

The brilliant blue color of KLH is due to its copper-containing properties

Additional Resources

  1. Lauwerys, Hachulla, Spertini, Lazaro, Jorgensen, Mariette, Haelterman. Down-regulation of interferon signature in systemic lupus erythematosus patients by active immunization with interferon-a-kinoid. Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Feb;65(2):477-56.
  2. Lebrec, Hock, Sundsmo, Mytych, Chow, Carlock, Joubert, Reindel, Zhou, Bussiere. T-cell-dependent antibody responses in the rat: Forms and sources of keyhole limpet hemocyanin matter. J Immunotox 2013; August 20 Epub.
  3. Miller, Curtsinger, Merthoid, Malvey, Bliss, Le, Fautsch, Dudek, Blazar, Panoskaltsis-Mortari. Diminished neo-antigen response to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) vaccines in patients after treatment with chemotherapy or hematopoietic cell transplantation. Clin Immun 2005; 117:144-151.
  4. Musselli, Livingston, Raqupathi. Keyhole limpet hemocyanin conjugate vaccines against cancer: the Memorial Sloan Kettering experience. J Cancer Res Clin Oncology 2001 Oct; 127 Suppl 2:R20-6.
  5. Shuguang, Milbrandt, Brisson. Measuring properties of different forms of Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH) reveals important differences. Immunology 2015; poster presented May 8-12, 2015.
  6. U.S. Clinical Trials database
  7. Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin Knowledge Base.