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.

Modeling Malaria with Humanization and Tissue Engineering

The fight against malaria is hampered by the lack of good animal models. The most dangerous malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has a complex life cycle involving two hosts: mosquitoes and humans. In humans, the parasite has both a liver stage and a red blood cell stage. Because of its host species specificity, P. falciparum has been challenging to model in vivo, particularly during the liver stage. Humanized...

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Researchers Demonstrate Vaccine Mediated Protection Against Zika Virus Using Pregnant Mice

On July 13, 2017, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine published a paper titled, Vaccine Mediated Protection Against Zika Virus Induced Congenital Disease in the journal CELL1. In their study pregnant C57BL/6 mice vaccinated using an mRNA vaccine against the prM-E subunit of the virus and a live attenuated ZIKV-NS1_LAV were challenged with a pathogenic heterologous African ZIKV strain. The mice given a placebo developed high...

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Can Anxiety Phenotypes Transfer via FMT?

Connections between behavioral phenotypes and the microbiome continue to emerge from fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) studies at McMaster University. Can Behavioral Phenotypes Be Transferred? Researchers at McMaster University first demonstrated the transfer of behavioral traits between mice via the gut microbiome by fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in 2011. The authors exploited the observation that two strains of mice, inbred BALB/c and outbred NIH Swiss mice with differing...

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Humanized Mice in Cancer Bone Metastasis Studies

Despite recent advances in cancer research and drug development, bone metastases remain incurable. Some of the most common cancers, such as breast, prostate, lung, and multiple myeloma frequently metastasize to bone1,2,3. As bone metastasis is difficult to treat and target, and because the bone itself is noted to induce drug resistance, the preclinical evaluation of new therapies in more translatable bone metastasis models may increase the likelihood...

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Modified DIO Protocols Improve Type 2 Diabetes Models

Animal models of diet-induced obesity (DIO) are commonly used to model metabolic syndrome, but have some limitations. Can a modified DIO protocol produce better type 2 diabetes models? Developing Modified DIO Protocols DIO C57BL/6 mice are obese, glucose intolerant, insulin resistant, and display mild hyperglycemia. To better model Type 2 diabetes, researchers at the University of Colorado and NYU Langone Medical Center recently developed a modified protocol...

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Murine Lung Microbiome Webinar Recap

On June 8, Dr. Kenneth Klingenberg Barfod — of the National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark — presented a webinar on the importance of the murine lung microbiome, how the lung microbiome in mice can be manipulated experimentally, and its applications in disease modeling. Compared to the extensively studied gut microbiome, the lung microbiome is a niche research area with relatively few published reports. A...

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The Medicinal Microbiome: Presentations of Note

A growing number of scientists are investigating the role of our microbiome in the development of and protection from disease. One area of particular interest is recovery from injury and infection. Recent publications examine the relationship between the microbiome and HIV infection (Wei Yang JS, 2017), harnessing microbiome targeted therapies to reduce post-operative complications (Kasatpibal N, 2017), and the impact of environmental toxins on increasing antimicrobial resistant...

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Considerations for Rodent Irradiation

Rodent irradiation is an important tool in immunology and oncology rodent studies and has been critical in learning about tumor biology, transplant biology and immune system function. Understanding the biophysical and biological factors involved in irradiation studies is critical for optimizing model performance and improving experimental results. Irradiation preferentially kills rapidly dividing cells, including bone marrow and epithelial cells of the gut and other organs. The most...

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Industrial PhD Program Supports Microbiota Research

Three years ago, Taconic Biosciences and the University of Copenhagen came together to sponsor an Industrial PhD student through a program supported by Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD). IFD invests in new knowledge and technology creating growth and employment in Denmark. The Industrial PhD Program The Industrial PhD program provides opportunities to students that might not otherwise be available in a traditional PhD program. Applicants accepted into the...

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Animal Models of Type 2 Diabetes: The GK Rat

Studying the long-term complications of diabetic pathology is more relevant than ever, driving increased interest in animal models of type 2 diabetes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the number of people with diabetes (includes both type 1 and type 2) has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. "[Diabetes] is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and...

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