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.

New Vici Syndrome Mouse Model Could Accelerate Research

Most rare diseases have a genetic component, making access to an animal model with the associated gene mutation a must for developing new therapies. Yet these diseases don't often attract the funding to develop a genetically engineered model of the condition. With the help of Taconic Biosciences, two investigators studying Vici syndrome now have this essential research tool in hand. Vici syndrome is a severe congenital multisystem...

Read More

CRISPR Genome Engineering: Advantages and Limitations

Four years after the debut of CRISPR/Cas9 in mouse genetics, it is time to start drawing some conclusions on its performance, advantages, and limitations as a genome engineering technology1,2,3. Advantages of CRISPR Genome Engineering Arguably, the most important advantages of CRISPR/Cas9 over other genome editing technologies is its simplicity and efficiency. Since it can be applied directly in embryo, CRISPR/Cas9 reduces the time required to modify target...

Read More

Why Your Transgenic Project Failed

Erroneous modification of the mouse genome can lead to the generation of transgenic lines carrying non-functional alleles or unwanted mutations. These faulty models can seriously impact your research program, wasting resources on misleading results. Are Design Errors Driving Translational Failure? Genetically modified mouse models first appeared more than thirty years ago and are still at the heart of biomedical research. The first models carried relatively simple genetic...

Read More

Mouse Model of Alcohol Abuse Shows Microbiome Changes

In one of the few published studies evaluating the role of chronic alcohol exposure and its impact on the microbiome, researchers at University College Cork, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and Teagasc Food Research Centre found marked changes in microbiota in a mouse model of alcohol abuse. After four weeks of exposure to chronic intermittent vaporized ethanol, investigators found a reduction in bacteria alpha diversity...

Read More

Mutation Reduces Immune Response in C57BL/6J Mice

Researchers from the University of Iowa inadvertently identified an Nlrp12 missense mutation which inhibits immune responses in C57BL/6J mice. Further investigation reveals the mutation occurred prior to 1971, potentially impacting decades of research conducted on affected mouse models. Reduced Neutrophil Recruitment in C57BL/6J In this study, the authors compared C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NTac mice and noted that C57BL/6J mice had reduced neutrophil recruitment. Initially hypothesizing the difference was...

Read More

Producing Neurological Symptoms in Mouse Model of Zika Virus

Severity of 2015 Outbreak Fuels Research Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus transmitted primarily through mosquito bites. It was first discovered in 1947, and outbreaks described from the 1960s through 1980s were associated with mild illness in affected humans. A Brazilian outbreak in 2015, however, has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome and other neurological disorders in infected humans, along with fetal abnormalities such as stillbirth and microcephaly....

Read More

Segmented Filamentous Bacteria in Mice

In 2009, Dan Littman's laboratory published a landmark manuscript that greatly influenced how the research community viewed commensal microbes and their impact on the host immune system. Despite the presence of hundreds of species of bacteria in the intestinal tract, Ivanov et al. demonstrated that the presence of segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) in mice could massively skew the frequency of Th17 cells, a subset of CD4+ T...

Read More

Genetically Engineered Models in Drug Development

Why do 90% of compounds fail the FDA approval process after entering Phase I clinical trials?1 Many failed projects can be traced to unreliable preclinical assessments of toxicity and efficacy of the potential new drugs2 – often due to a lack of predictive and reliable in vivo testing. Wild-type mice and rats were the gold standard in the assessment of efficacy and toxicity for many years, due...

Read More

World Cancer Day 2017

Cancer kills 8.2 million people every year, 4 million of whom die prematurely. Advancing the state of cancer research to prevent or mitigate this suffering is a worthy challenge for the global biosciences community. February 4 is World Cancer Day, dedicated to "awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action". Today, we want to recognize the contributions of those...

Read More

Rat Polyomavirus 2 - A New Agent of Concern?

Recently, a novel rodent polyomavirus, rat polyomavirus 2 (RPyV2), was discovered. This new agent was isolated from a colony of highly immunodeficient rats which developed clinical illness, including emaciation, labored breathing and mortality, particularly among breeding females and pups. IDEXX BioResearch, working collaboratively with the affected academic institution, was finally able to identify the cause as a novel rat virus, which they named Rattus norvegicus polyomavirus 2...

Read More