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.

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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Flu on the Fly

Autumn, when leaves, pumpkin spice, and flu are in the air, is a time to evaluate animal models of influenza pathogenesis and developments in flu research and treatment. This is an introductory reference for influenza studies with a few tips and tricks for utilizing mouse models. Basics of Influenza Influenza has three major subtypes: A, B and C. Type A causes pandemic flu. It is further divided...

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Resources for Improving Quality and Reproducibility in Animal Studies

Quality and reproducibility are the focus of much scientific literature, reviews, and commentaries. Knowledge cannot advance without confidence in the reproducibility of our research. If you work in a laboratory animal facility or use animal models in your research, you know proper training is imperative to quality, reproducibility, and success. Yet, there is no single source of information, regulations, or training materials we can turn to. The...

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Time-restricted Feeding to Prevent Obesity in Juveniles?

There is a growing body of evidence that time-restricted feeding (TRF), for example limiting eating to the active versus inactive phase for a particular species, can impact weight gain and development of obesity. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the Central Norway Regional Health Authority, and Trondheim University Hospital recently demonstrated that TRF restricts weight gain in juvenile rats. Most previous literature on the...

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