Taconic Insights

Biopharmaceutical Trends and R&D

Taconic Biosciences has remained one of the world's leading providers of research models and services for over 60 years through our commitment to anticipating clients’ needs and industry trends. One of the key trends of the past ten years involves our clients’ need to strategically outsource functional areas of their R&D programs. When companies, academic institutions, government agencies and others outsource certain R&D functions they begin to rely on their collaborators, such as Taconic, to keep them apprised of emerging science and technologies in our specific areas of expertise.
In this spirit of collaboration, we present "Taconic Insights", a new section of our website dedicated to educating the industry on key scientific and technological trends impacting biopharmaceutical R&D. Here you will find the latest insights Taconic can provide in the form of articles, white papers, videos, webinars, presentations, and other media.

Investigating Tau Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Models

Despite tau proteins having essential roles in neurodegeneration and amyloid-mediated neurotoxicity, Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutic development has largely focused on amyloid-beta. Recent investigations, in humans and rodent Alzheimer's Disease models, suggest specific tau species might be major pathological contributors to AD progression and, as such, an even better target than amyloid-beta for effective AD therapies. Tau Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease Monomeric tau proteins are abundant in neurons,...

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Microbiome Affects Severity in Mouse Model of Malaria

Malaria is a serious global health hazard, with 214 million new cases worldwide in 2015 according to the World Health Organization. Infection by Plasmodium species can result in a range of disease severity, from asymptomatic infection through severe disease and death. A comparison between mouse models of malaria from competing vendors appears to have identified components of gut microbiota which may impact disease severity, including two genera...

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Does Vascular Catheterization in Mice Impact Health?

Vascular catheterization is commonly used to sample blood and administer compounds to mice and rats, but does it have physiological impact? Researchers may assume that catheterization and automated blood sampling has no effect on the test subject, but a new study sheds doubt on that assumption. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Karolinska Institutet published a paper titled "Carotid Catheterization and Automated Blood Sampling Induce...

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Animal Models for Zika Virus Infection

Researchers at the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine published a paper demonstrating that Zika virus could be transmitted sexually. "In addition to transmission by mosquitoes," they report, "ZIKV can be detected in the seminal fluid of affected males for extended periods of time". They evaluated the consequences of infection in several strains of mice, including C57BL/6, congenic Rag1−/−, and congenic Axl−/−. They observed "persistence...

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Combination Immunotherapy Research with Syngeneic Tumor Models

In combination immunotherapy research, the goal is to coach multiple aspects of the body's own immune system to recognize and destroy cancerous cells. This strategy holds the promise of treating advanced tumors and keeping them at bay, with better responses and fewer side effects compared to more traditional chemotherapies. This has involved a paradigm shift in how scientists approach cancer research. For decades, the field has been...

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Targeting APOE4 for Alzheimer's Disease Therapies

Past research efforts, focused on Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology and the genetics of familial AD, led to the discovery of important AD-related proteins, including amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau. However, efforts to develop AD therapies based on targeting Aβ and tau have largely failed. Years of disappointing trials have brought increasing demand for new AD targets and alternative treatment approaches. Using mice expressing apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4), a human...

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Using HLA Transgenic Mice to Investigate Novel T Cell Therapies

Recent clinical successes in immuno-oncology, coupled with developments in genetically engineered mouse models, are driving interest in utilizing new aspects of immune cell biology for drug discovery. One promising class of cell-based treatments is Chimeric Antigen Receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapies, which take advantage of fundamental mechanisms of immune cell biology to develop novel, tumor-killing T cell therapies. T cell receptors (TCRs) are the antigen recognition machinery...

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Gnotobiotic Mouse Technology: An Illustrated Guide (Book Review)

A recently published illustrated manual on gnotobiotic mouse technology could be a great help to developing common standards in the germ-free research community. Chriss J. Vowles, Natalie E. Anderson, and Kathryn A. Eaton of the University of Michigan have produced a thorough reference in Gnotobiotic Mouse Technology: An Illustrated Guide (CRC Press). The Guide features an overview of germ-free research history with sections on sterilization, testing, rederivation,...

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Mother's Diet Influences Alzheimer's Disease Outcomes

Increasingly obesity and its associated comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, etc.) are identified as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Determining the link between diet and Alzheimer's disease has been challenging, in large part due to obesity's association with numerous systemic physiological changes. Recent studies suggest that poor maternal diet can influence epigenetic changes which predispose offspring to the development of metabolic syndromes. Since...

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Big Week for Immuno-Oncology Therapeutics

We've heard a lot about immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs in the news this week. Most notably, Merck & Co., Inc. (Merck) shared two major announcements involving their anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, Keytruda®. First, in a press release on October 21st, Merck announced the stoppage of a Phase III clinical trial for bladder cancer. Covering the announcement, BioSpace Online reported that "early results were so positive that the DMC...

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