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.

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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Patient-derived Xenografts of Hematological Malignancies Webinar Review

Dr. Julia Schueler of Oncotest presented a webinar exploring her work with patient-derived xenografts (PDX) of hematological malignancies as model systems for drug development and tumor biology research. PDX models of hematological origin provide the same advantages as solid tumor PDX models, such as preserving tumor heterogeneity and the treatment sensitivity profile of the donor patient. View the webinar: Patient-Derived Xenografts of Hematological Malignancies For successful development...

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Review: Humanized Mouse Model Research Symposia

Humanized mouse models are critical tools for basic research, modeling of certain human-specific infectious diseases, efficacy testing of immunotherapy approaches, and safety assessment for large molecule therapeutics. Taconic Biosciences recently hosted the symposium series "Advanced Preclinical Models for Immuno-oncology and Infectious Disease" in several European cities, which focused on the latest research applications of human immune system engrafted mice and the introduction of next generation models. International...

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Production of Germ-Free Mice: Then and Now

On September 26, 1949, Life Magazine showed the world "a strange, new sterile laboratory at Notre Dame", where animal care technicians in diving suits submerged themselves in germicidal tanks, and animals were raised in sealed environments. Scientists were curious whether germ-free organisms would live longer, and planned to study cancer, heart disease, tooth decay, and more. That first germ-free laboratory was a marvel, but it was beyond...

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Patient-Derived Xenografts Q&A with Dr. Els Hermans

Dr. Els Hermans, whose work on the Trace platform at KU Leuven is streamlining the oncology R&D pipeline, presented a webinar focused on the application of patient-derived xenograft models (PDX) in translational cancer research. Her presentation on use of PDX models to close the gap between pre-clinical and clinical trials, and their application in personalized medicine, generated substantial interest from the research community. View the webinar: Patient-Derived...

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Quality and study design considerations for carcinogenicity testing with the rasH2

75% of mouse carcinogenicity studies submitted to the FDA utilize the rasH2 mouse model (Tg.rasH2), a model accepted by the FDA as an alternative to the two-year in vivo bioassay for predicting human carcinogenic risk. In an evolving carcinogenicity testing landscape, with the utility of two-year rat bioassay under re-consideration and changes under consideration to the ICH guidelines for carcinogenic risk assessment, several key questions come to...

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Where You Source Your Lab Mice Matters

Has a study ever performed as expected the first time you run it, but the results stop making sense in subsequent trials? You used the same strain of mice, same sex and same age. The only variable appears to be the vendor...what could be happening? In a previous Insight, I discussed considerations for mouse breeding. One of the suggestions in that post was that it may be...

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Should Your Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Study Use Germ-Free Mice?

Are you planning on doing some fecal microbiota transplant studies? Unsure whether to use germ-free or antibiotic treated mice for your studies? In a recent review paper (Gut Microbes, March 2016), Randi Lundberg and her coauthors present the pros and cons for using antibiotic-treated or germ-free mice in fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) studies. Neither model truly represents physiological nor immunological conditions found in SPF mice, but can...

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8 Best Practice Resources for Working with Germ-Free Mice

The volume of published studies employing axenic or germ-free mice increased dramatically over the past 15 years, in part due to growing interest in microbiome research. As germ-free mouse model studies gain relevance, so does the importance of establishing best practices while researchers start and maintain research colonies. Today, we'll address eight of the most frequently-asked questions regarding axenic mouse colony best practices. It is generally accepted...

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