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.

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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What are Timed Pregnant Rodent Models?

Timed pregnant mice and rats are important research tools, with applications in developmental research, genetic engineering, and generating tissue cultures. They are the most efficient way to obtain a cohort of embryos, fetuses, or pups with a precisely defined, matched age. But what exactly are timed pregnant mice? What Are Timed Pregnant Mice and Rats? A timed pregnant female is a mouse or rat with a precisely...

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Humanized Mice in Safety and Toxicity Testing

Humanized mice are invaluable tools for studying the function of the human immune system in an in vivo context, with applications for studying infectious disease, immuno-oncology, and immunology. Recently, Ryoji Ito and colleagues at the Central Institute for Experimental Animals in Japan demonstrated their efficacy in assessing the safety of chemotherapeutic drug candidates1. Humanized Mice and Myelotoxicity Testing Myelotoxicity is a common treatment-related adverse effect for antineoplastic...

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Diets High in Salt May Increase Sensitivity to Autoimmune Disease through Microbiome Alteration

High salt diets have previously been shown to increase severity of certain types of induced autoimmune disease in mouse models via a signaling pathway, but the impact of these diets on the gut microbiome and intestinal inflammation have not been studied. Researchers at McMaster University recently investigated this question in a paper titled "High salt diet exacerbates colitis in mice by decreasing Lactobacillus levels and butyrate production"...

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2018 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting — Hot Topics

The annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting is the largest toxicological meeting in the world. The 57th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo was held in San Antonio, Texas, and drew more than 6,100 scientists from Europe, Africa, Asia, Canada, and almost every state of the United States. This is where scientists go to discover all the advances in toxicology from the past year and to meet with colleagues,...

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New Resource for Gnotobiotics Research

Growth in Gnotobiotics Research in gnotobiotic rodents and other animal models is a growing field. The rise in microbiome studies is likely responsible for this increase. This gnotobiotic renaissance has fueled exponential growth in the number of institutions operating or making plans for gnotobiotic facilities and a demand for more education. The non-profit organization, the Association for Gnotobiotics, is answering this need for gnotobiotic knowledge by publishing...

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