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.

Activated Soy Affects Weight Gain and Microbiome in Obese Mice

Researchers from the USDA, Tulane, LSU, and Microbiome Therapeutics have linked soy pod fiber to significantly reduced weight gain in obese mice. (Source: Obesity. 2016 Jan;24(1):87-95.) The study looked at activated soy pod fiber as a dietary intervention in mice fed an obesogenic diet. Two groups of male C57BL/6NTac mice were fed a purified diet similar to the "condensed milk" diet, with one group's diet altered to...

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Congenic Mice: What's in a Name?

Researchers unfamiliar with mouse genetics can be confused by complex strain nomenclature, leaving them unsure how to select controls for a particular test strain. The nomenclature of congenic mice records a wealth of useful information, including both donor and recipient strains and mutations of interest. One common example of this is confusion around background strain for GEM and mutant lines. While it is common now to make...

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Q&A: Diet Induced Obese Mice

Taconic's Product Manager, Jennifer Phelan recently presented a webinar on diet-induced obesity (DIO) in mouse models and the production of obese mice, including important factors in housing and husbandry. Many of your questions went unanswered due to time constraints, so we present those additional questions and answers here: Currently, Taconic does not have in-house data on the diabetic neuropathy of C57BL/6NTac DIO mice, however several publications look...

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Guidelines for Use of Humanized Mice in IBD Drug Discovery

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic immunologically mediated disease with no known cure. Can humanized mice speed up IBD drug discovery, bringing relief to the estimated 1.4 million Americans with this difficult condition? To support IBD research, Taconic hosted a webinar by TransCure BioServices experts: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Patrick Nef, and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Dr. Sebastien Tabruyn. TransCure is a contract research organization...

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Cancer Drug Suggests Promising Alzheimer's Treatment

In a 2015 report, a team of scientist from the Weizmann Institute of Science provided compelling evidence that boosting the immune response in the brain (as opposed to suppressing it) might be a promising avenue for Alzheimer's research. In an extension of its initial findings, the team found that inhibiting an immune-checkpoint pathway which is targeted in the treatment of certain forms of cancer dramatically reduces Alzheimer's...

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C57BL/6 DIO 101: Best Practices for Diet Induced Obesity in Mice

A DIO (diet induced obese) mouse is a C57BL/6 - "Black 6" - mouse which has been made obese through conditioning with a special diet. These diets tend to be high in fat, however there are sometimes other modifications made such as added sugar and there are varying types of fat used to create the diet. View the Taconic Webinar: DIO 101: Diet-induced Obesity in Mice Obese...

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Are Humanized Mice the Future of Oncology Models?

Oncologists are up against the limits of cell cultures and xenografts in applied research. Are humanized mice the solution? In an article discussing the challenge of tumor heterogeneity, Drug Discovery News (DDN) laid out several factors which contribute to heterogeneity and which complicate the clinical presentation of tumors, but which are not well modeled in cell culture: Genetically diverse subclonal populations, both within a tumor and across...

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The Dirty Future of Immunology Animal Models

When discrepancies in immune response arise between animal models and humans, some investigators are quick to question the adequacy of laboratory mice as a proxy for human subjects. Two collaborative studies, published in Nature and Cell Host & Microbe, suggest that animal model microbiome and health standards are key to interpreting these discrepancies - and that mice with more extensive history of pathogen exposure may better model...

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Choosing a Health Standard for Your Model

Taconic produces rodent models at several different health standards. How do you know which health designation to choose when ordering animals? Taconic rodent models are available at multiple health standards, enabling researchers to choose the most appropriate model for their studies. These five health standards are defined by the progressive exclusion of foreign organisms. The general health standard for most immunocompetent models is Murine Pathogen Free™ (MPF™)....

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Preclinical Immuno-Oncology Animal Models

Immuno-oncology - triggering a patient's own immune system to attack their cancer - is sweeping through all levels of oncology research, from academia to biotech and pharma. Silicon Valley mogul Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and first president of Facebook, pledged $250 million to set up the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Pharma and biotech are betting big on immunotherapy also, with significant resources devoted to immunotherapy...

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