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.

Smartphones Can Contaminate Laboratory Animal Colonies

As people increasingly rely on smartphones and tablets, it should come as no surprise that this trend also exists in laboratories. While this is unlikely to pose a problem in your kitchen when using your phone as a cooking timer, there are potential issues associated with use of smartphones and tablets in laboratory animal facilities. Such devices can be contaminated with bacteria, including pathogenic species which some...

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Webinar: Estrogen-Related Effects in Breast Cancer Xenograft Models

Breast cancer xenograft models are often treated with supplemental estrogen, but this can induce a range of adverse effects on immunodeficient mouse models including impaired urinary tract function and skin problems. Failure to control for these strain-dependent effects can seriously impact the reproducibility of preclinical research — or lead to early termination of your experiment due to their severity. In a recent webinar, Pharmatest — a contract...

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Book Review: Animal Models for Microbiome Research

This book is the outcome of Workshop on Animal Models for Microbiome Research: Advancing Basic Science and Translational Research, hosted by the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR). Microbiome and germ-free researchers James Fox, Joseph Newsome, Wendy Garrett, Jeffrey Gordon and Vincent Young organized the workshop, with the following goals: Improve the depth and breadth of analysis of microbial communities using various model organisms Address the challenges...

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Top 10 Summer Science Reads

Heading off on vacation? Pack your beach bag with some of these great summer reads. Pandora's Lab In the world of biomedical research, we celebrate discoveries that improve our life expectancy and quality of life. Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong, by Paul A. Offit MD, provides a look at the other side of discovery, at the "uh-ohs" and "oops" and unintended consequences of scientific...

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4 Gut-Brain Axis Publications You May Have Missed

You may have missed these publications in the recent rush of microbiome and germ-free research news, but researchers are making interesting connections between the gut microbiome and neurological functioning. Four studies examined relationships between the gut microbiome and mood, behavior, disease risk, and development. Prenatal Stress, the Microbiome, and Development Prenatal stress disrupts social behavior, cortical neurobiology and commensal microbes in adult male offspring. Scientists at Ohio...

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Evaluating IO Bispecifics with PBMC-Humanized Mice

Humanized mice engrafted with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) have become the preclinical workhorses for evaluating bispecific antibodies and other multi-specific, T cell-engaging cancer immunotherapies. PBMC-engrafted models, such as huPBMC-NOG are favored for their relative speed, versatility, affordability, and high level of translational relevance. Key to the effective application of PBMC-engrafted models is an understanding of their strengths and limitations. This article will highlight these strengths...

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New Research on Maintaining Complex Gut Microbiota in Mouse Models

Figure 1: Experimental design used to generate CD1 mice with four different gut microbiota (GM) profiles. Schematic diagram showing embryo transfer scheme used to rederive CD1 mice to C57BL/6J GMJAX, C67BL/6NTacGMTAC, Crl:CD1GMCRL, and HSD:ICRGMHSD surrogate dams. At maturity, offspring were mated using an outbred mating scheme within each GM profile and maintained as four separate breeding colonies for nine generations. An increased interest in studies involving the...

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Improved Safety in CAR T Cell Therapy

The fight against cancer has recently improved by enlisting the patient's immune system to battle tumor cells. Administering checkpoint inhibitors, for example, can stop molecules such as PD-1 from interfering with T cell activity and allow T cells to attack cancer cells. Keytruda® (Merck) and Opdivo® (BMS) are two well-known checkpoint inhibitors that have improved treatment of certain cancer types. Checkpoint inhibitors work indirectly. CAR T cells...

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Business Continuity Planning in Life Sciences

"What do you mean you don't have the animals I need available? You've always had them before. Don't you know this will delay lifesaving research and possibly cost me my grant?" Supply chain disruptions for critical business components isn't an uncommonly rare event. In fact, disruptions, disasters, and accidents occur often. Incorporating business continuity planning into your colony management strategy is the only way to keep your...

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SFB and Immune Response in Animal Models

Segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB, provisional classification Candidatus Savagella) are commensal microorganisms endemic to all vertebrate classes, including mice and humans. SFB are notable for their ability to modulate adaptive host immune responses, including induction of regulatory Th17 T cells, Peyer's patch maturation, and gut IgA production1-3. A recent study from the laboratory of Joyce Wu at the University of Arizona has revealed a novel innate immune function...

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