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.

Key Immunology Mouse Models in History

While the field of immunology has origins that date back to the 1500s, the field gained significant ground with the expanded use of mouse model systems. Fundamental discoveries elucidated in mouse models over the past 50 years are beginning to yield major breakthrough treatments for the most sinister human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer. The immunologist's major professional association, the American Association of Immunology,...

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CNV Psychiatric Disease Models Q&A

Dr. Michael Didriksen, whose work with Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals is bridging preclinical and clinical schizophrenia and psychosis science, presented a webinar focused on the application of three novel psychiatric disease models, all carrying high-risk genetic copy number variations (CNVs). His presentation on the research applications of mice carrying high-risk CNVs generated substantial interest from the neuropsychiatric community. Here are some of the most popular questions we received from...

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Fecal Microbiota Study Links Parkinson's Disease and the Microbiome

In a recent Cell publication, a team led by Timothy Sampson and Sarkis Mazmanian of Caltech showed that gut microbiota can promote inflammation of neurons and motor deficits in a human α-synuclein mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Connecting Parkinson's Disease and the Microbiome Emerging data suggest bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain in anxiety, depression, nociception, and autism spectrum disorder1,5,6. Much has been postulated over...

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Generating EAE Mouse Models of Multiple Sclerosis

Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely-accepted model of demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). How can you most efficiently generate EAE mouse models of multiple sclerosis and which mouse strains work best for this application? Although the exact details are not understood, the immune system is involved in MS pathogenesis. Like MS, EAE is characterized by infiltration of immune cells into the central nervous system...

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How is the Gut Microbiome Established?

Research isolating the key factors impacting establishment of an individual gut microbiome has interesting implications for the future of microbiome therapeutics - and translatable mouse model research. Microbiome population diversity is relatively stable throughout the life of a host organism, returning to a durable, individualized baseline after most disruptions. This baseline is established in infancy, through genetic and environmental factors, and appears resistant to changes in diet....

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Versatile Applications of the TNFα Mouse

Research models are often engineered to help answer a narrow set of experimental questions; however, cross-breedings and other experimental interventions allow investigators to dramatically broaden the utility of transgenic mouse models. This is particularly true for models with strong and relatively easy-to-monitor phenotypes, two properties which support a potential platform for multiple rapid discoveries. One such example is the human TNFα mouse: a transgenic mouse that over-expresses...

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Investigating Tau Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Models

Despite tau proteins having essential roles in neurodegeneration and amyloid-mediated neurotoxicity, Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutic development has largely focused on amyloid-beta. Recent investigations, in humans and rodent Alzheimer's Disease models, suggest specific tau species might be major pathological contributors to AD progression and, as such, an even better target than amyloid-beta for effective AD therapies. Tau Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease Monomeric tau proteins are abundant in neurons,...

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Microbiome Affects Severity in Mouse Model of Malaria

Malaria is a serious global health hazard, with 214 million new cases worldwide in 2015 according to the World Health Organization. Infection by Plasmodium species can result in a range of disease severity, from asymptomatic infection through severe disease and death. A comparison between mouse models of malaria from competing vendors appears to have identified components of gut microbiota which may impact disease severity, including two genera...

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Does Vascular Catheterization in Mice Impact Health?

Vascular catheterization is commonly used to sample blood and administer compounds to mice and rats, but does it have physiological impact? Researchers may assume that catheterization and automated blood sampling has no effect on the test subject, but a new study sheds doubt on that assumption. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Karolinska Institutet published a paper titled "Carotid Catheterization and Automated Blood Sampling Induce...

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Animal Models for Zika Virus Infection

Researchers at the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine published a paper demonstrating that Zika virus could be transmitted sexually. "In addition to transmission by mosquitoes," they report, "ZIKV can be detected in the seminal fluid of affected males for extended periods of time". They evaluated the consequences of infection in several strains of mice, including C57BL/6, congenic Rag1−/−, and congenic Axl−/−. They observed "persistence...

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