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.

Research on Common Ocular Abnormalities in C57BL/6N Mice

In May 2018 researchers at the University of California-Davis and Université de Strasbourg published a paper titled, A Population Study of Common Ocular Abnormalities in C57BL/6N rd8 Mice in the journal, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. C57BL/6N mice, which carry the rd8 mutation, are the most commonly used model for generation of knockout models. This study looked at a large cohort of C57BL/6N mice which were sourced...

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Limitations of Feces as Proxy for Gut Microbiota

A myriad of factors can influence the gut microbiota composition of laboratory rats and mice: diet, stress, circadian rhythm, vendor source, how they are housed, and more. Since different gut microbiota compositions can elicit different phenotypes under otherwise similar experimental conditions, understanding what shapes the rodent microbiome is becoming increasingly important for researchers. Husbandry-Induced Microbiome Effects The husbandry of laboratory animals is highly variable between facilities. Different...

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Webinar Q&A — Humanized Mice in Preclinical Immuno-Oncology

Dr. Paul Volden recently presented a webinar on humanized mice in preclinical immuno-oncology research. Many of the questions you submitted to his Q&A session went unanswered due to time constraints, so here's the full Q&A. General Immuno-Oncology Questions Dr. Paul Volden (PV): I would not recommend commercially available humanized models for most cancer vaccine studies. To get sufficient vaccine response, you need interaction between antigen presenting cells...

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New Options for IO Efficacy Testing

Structure of EMD Serono's bifunctional immune-oncology therapeutic M7824, from Lan et al.1 While new cancer immunotherapies offer fresh hope, not all patients respond to the currently available treatments. The race is on to identify efficacious combination therapies and next generation therapeutics, but preclinical efficacy testing is often hampered by immunogenicity in animal models. B cell-deficient animal models permit efficacy testing of immuno-oncology (IO) therapeutics when anti-drug antibodies...

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World MS Day

To mark World MS Day and raise awareness of this disease, we're taking a look at the state of preclinical MS research and efforts to produce more translatable MS animal models. What is Multiple Sclerosis? Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease of the nervous system, one of the most common neurological disorders and causes of disability in young adults. MS affects 2.3 million people worldwide, including...

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Feed Your Gut Microbiota for Improved Health

Humanized microbiota Swiss Webster mice infected with C. difficile efficiently clear the pathogen when maintained on a diet with microbiota-accessible carbohydrates (MAC+), but remain persistently infected when on a MAC-deficient diet (MD1, MD2). Switching from a MAC-deficient diet promotes rapid pathogen clearance. Figure from Hryckowian et al.1 Clostridium difficile is a significant source of infectious disease death in the United States, and C. difficile infection can be...

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Maternal Diet Modifications in NOD mice Can Alter Disease in Offspring

On February 2, 2018, researchers at The Bartholin Institute, Biocenter in Copenhagen, Denmark, published a paper titled Gluten‐free diet during pregnancy alleviates signs of diabetes and celiac disease in NOD mouse offspring in the journal Diabetes Metabolism Research Reviews. NOD mice have been the model of choice for autoimmune Type 1 diabetes research for over 30 years as they are a polygenic model of diabetes that mimic...

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The Replication Crisis in Preclinical Research

With growing alarm at the failure to replicate published, influential studies, the life sciences community is turning their attention to the causes and consequences of the replication crisis. How can we improve in vivo research to secure the reliability of our results? Reproducibility in Life Sciences While some of the most public replication failures came out of the "softer" sciences, such as psychology or economics, the biological...

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Decision Expected Waiving Risk Assessments

Proposed changes to the ICH S1 guidelines for rodent carcinogenicity testing of human pharmaceuticals would allow sponsors to waive the requirement for a two-year rat bioassay under certain conditions. A final ruling and guidance update are expected in June of 2018. Re-Examining Carcinogenicity Testing In 2011, Sistare et al. conducted a retrospective analysis of the data on two-year rat carcinogenicity and chronic toxicity studies in rats with...

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Preventing Genetic Drift in Germ-Free Mice

Maintaining genetic integrity within breeding colonies is always a critical issue, but this is especially the case for germ-free and gnotobiotic mice1. Due to the small size and closed nature of most gnotobiotic colonies, these lines are especially vulnerable to genetic drift via the accumulation of novel mutations2,3. In the worst-case scenario, this might lead to the unintentional fixation of mutations in inbred strains, with potentially devastating...

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