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.

Do Some IBD Treatments Work by Altering the Gut Microbiota?

An IBD treatment targeting key cytokine components appears to alter the microbiome in mouse models of IBD. What's the connection? Cytokines have been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and modulation of cytokines is one therapeutic strategy. Ustekinumab, an antibody that targets IL-12p40 and a component of the cytokines IL-12 and IL-23, demonstrated clinical efficacy against Crohn's disease,...

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Animal Model Quality: Transportation and Environmental Factors

What are the most important factors in assessing the quality of an animal model? In Part I, we discussed two of the four quality considerations for using laboratory mice: health and genetics. To recap: It's important to understand the different health standards when assessing an animal model. Commercial providers often make them available online, or they can be requested from the sending facility. With genetics, using polymerase...

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A Successful Breeding Plan in Five Steps

"It's just breeding... right?" You may want to carry out large cohort studies within the next 4-6 months, or to quickly recover a cryopreserved line from your collaborator to cross with your own knockout line. How difficult can it be? The temptation of getting there fast may make you plunge into a new project right away. But early missteps in colony management can surface months into a...

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Does the Microbiome Affect Behavior in Germ-free Mice?

There is growing evidence that the microbiome, that collection of all the microorganisms which inhabit an individual, can affect cognition and behavior. This has been termed the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Germ-free mice are a critical tool in studies investigating this connection, and they have been shown to have alterations in behavior and cognition compared to conventional mice. Desbonnet et al. demonstrated that germ-free Swiss Webster mice exhibited social...

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Quality Considerations in the Use of Animal Models

Which elements of quality should you consider when conducting a study with animal models? Let's start with the definition of quality from Merriam-Webster: Quality [qual-i-ty] noun How good or bad something is. A characteristic or feature that someone or something has, something that can be noticed as a part of a person or thing. A high level of value or excellence. There are four elements which affect...

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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 Biosciences' 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...

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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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