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.

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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Easier Said than Bred: 4 Considerations for Breeding Laboratory Mice

Have you ever had a mouse infestation in your house? This is a pesky problem that can prove difficult to resolve. After all, they breed like... well, mice. So why is it so difficult to breed laboratory mice? Laboratory mice are purpose-bred for specific phenotypes or traits, not to optimize litter size. Quite often, fecundity is sacrificed to attain traits desired for laboratory mouse studies, or breeding...

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Patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDX) models - An emerging way to personalized medicine in translational cancer research

Dr. Els Hermans of the Trace platform at KU Leuven presented a webinar focused on patient-derived xenografts (PDX). Dr. Hermans framed the discussion by introducing existing problems in cancer drug discovery and development. A lack of predictive and reliable preclinical animal models has contributed to failure of new therapies in the clinic. PDX models may be a better tool for oncology research as they recapitulate intra-tumor heterogeneity...

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Improving Your ADME/Tox Processes

Despite initiatives to improve the regulatory arena to speed up drug development and therefore reduce the cost of approval, it is still a long and expensive process to bring drugs to market. As a result, resources must be directed primarily to the drug candidates most likely to work. The key to improving that situation lies in refining early-stage drug screening through the use ADME/Tox. In the Nov...

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Comparison Guide: huNOG-EXL, NSG-SGM3 and MISTRG

Several super immunodeficient models expressing cytokines designed to drive myeloid cell lineage commitment have been generated. The most advanced cytokine transgenic mouse models are the huNOG-EXL, NSG-SGM3 and the MISTRG. This group of models has promise to improve human immune system engraftment in mice, but each one has different features which must be considered when choosing an experimental model. Each model expresses two or more human variants...

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Meeting report: International Workshop on Humanized Mice 5

More than 300 scientists in the humanized mouse field gathered in Zurich for three days of stimulating presentations and discussions at the International Workshop on Humanized Mice 5 (IWHM5). Click for full size PDF Several groups reported generation of new models via novel human cytokine expression methods onto existing super immune deficient host mice. By presenting a series of random pronuclear transgenics and targeted knock-ins, various researchers...

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Patient-derived xenografts - a critical tool for oncology research

Researchers developing new cancer drugs have used xenografts to model human tumors for decades. With the development of immortalized cell lines, starting with HeLa, and the discovery of immunocompromised mutant mice, these two tools could be combined for in vivo human tumor studies. However, the translational relevance of cell line xenografts has been questioned. While they are still used widely as screening tools to provide go/no decisions...

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