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.

Webinar Review: Immuno-oncology and the Microbiome

In a recent webinar, Dr. Benjamin Cuiffo of Biomodels addressed the role of microbiome in preclinical immuno-oncology research. There is growing evidence that microbial imbalance (dysbiosis) is associated with many illnesses, including inflammation, autoimmune disease, and even cancer — but many researchers fail to account for its impact in preclinical study design. If you missed it, here's a summary of the key developments discussed during Dr. Cuiffo's...

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Microbiome Articles in the Top 5 of Articles Read in 2017

The Translational Scientist Journal announced the top 5 articles of 2017 from their publication. Two of the five articles examine the microbiome; further supporting its stature in life sciences research. Microbiome research continues to be a popular discussion topic for articles, conferences, and in the lay press. One of the microbiome focused articles is Exploring the Microbiome — with Mice. Taconic Biosciences' Director of Microbiome Products and...

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Does Roundup® Residue on Food Impact your Microbiome?

The herbicide glyphosate (Roundup® and other tradenames) works by inhibiting synthesis of aromatic amino acids in the shikimate pathway, which is active in plants as well as bacteria, but not in mammalian species. Thus while glyphosate cannot adversely affect humans via its primary mode of action, the possibility that it could affect the bacteria of the human microbiome exists. Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark and...

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Gut Microbiome and the Efficacy of Cancer Immunotherapy

Two new studies in humans published in Science in November 2017 support previous findings in mice: that response to cancer therapy is dependent on the gut microbiome1,2. This opens the possibility for researchers to explore deliberate exploitation of the microbiome in improving the efficacy of cancer therapy. While checkpoint inhibitors have been a great leap forward in the treatment of certain cancer types, only a limited portion...

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Webinar Review: Genetic Integrity in Breeding Colonies

What is genetic quality and how does it impact in vivo research? Dr. Ana Perez addressed this topic in a recent webinar, making the case that research reproducibility requires high genetic quality of laboratory rodents. Genetic Background Categories In terms of their genetic background, Dr. Perez divided animal models into four basic categories. Each category requires a distinct approach to maintaining genetic integrity: Inbred strains have a...

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

During the third week of January The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) host an annual event focusing on substance abuse and its impact on teenagers. Launched in 2010, the National Drug Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) focuses on substance abuse education, linking students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol. NDAFW is...

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Breakthrough Model for Immunotherapy Research

Rodent models engrafted with human immune cells are important tools for preclinical evaluation of immunotherapies. However, humanized immune system (HIS) models have largely failed to support the long-term engraftment and survival of human natural killer (NK) cells, an immune cell population that is essential to an increasing number of cancer therapies being developed. This was a significant barrier to progress in preclinical immuno-oncology research. In their latest...

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Animal Research Sample Size Calculation (and Consequences)

Proper sample size calculation is both a scientific and ethical imperative. Researchers are routinely asked to justify the number of animals used in their studies, either by regulatory bodies, funding agencies or, increasingly, by journal editors. In accordance with the 3R's, studies should be designed to reduce the number of animals used to meet scientific objectives. While the ethical reasons underlying such reductions are obvious, it is...

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Webinar Review: How to Harness the Microbiome

Rodent model microbiomes introduce confounding effects in an alarming range of study endpoints. In a recent webinar, Aaron Ericsson, Research Assistant Professor and Director of Metagenomics at the University of Missouri, reviewed emerging best practices to identify and control for relevant microbiota, improving the accuracy and reproducibility of your preclinical research. Dr. Ericsson discussed topics ranging from how the microbiome contributes to experimental variability and reproducibility to...

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How Does the Microbiome Affect Your Mouse Model?

Lactobacillus reuterii Induces Gut Intraepithelial CD4+CD8αα+ T Cells Researchers are still determining the full effect of the gut microbiota on immune system development. The best known example being reliance of Th17 responses on the presence of segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB). This past August, researchers at Washington University published a paper titled, "Lactobacillus reuterii induces gut intraepithelial CD4+CD8αα+ T cells" in the journal, Science. The authors demonstrated another...

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