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 65 years through our commitment to anticipating clients’ needs and industry trends. Through our Insights blog, we report on the newest research in the biopharmaceutical industry, provide expert advice regarding the maintenance of murine colonies, as well as comment on R&D and public health news.

Visitors are encouraged to comment and ask questions via the form at the bottom of each Insight.

Market Growth of Immuno-oncology Drugs Improve Cancer Treatments

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Figure 1: Companies actively pursuing immunotherapies. Source: Trends in the Global Immuno-oncology Landscape (2018) The approval of Ipilimumab (Yervoy®, BMS) in 2011 finally offered hope to metastatic melanoma patients — and set off a revolution in cancer treatment. Since 2011, regulatory agencies have approved eleven more immunotherapy drugs. Immunotherapy research continues to explode. There are close to thirty approved drugs that stimulate the immune system to kill...  Read More

EACR 2019 Conference Series Review

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The EACR Conference on Immuno-Oncology attracted academic and pharmaceutical researchers from all over the world to the Casa Milà in Barcelona, Spain. Attendees shared their recent findings in fundamental and translational research and discussed clinical studies in immuno-oncology and immunotherapy. EACR 2019 Immuno-Oncology Conference Series This Insight only highlights a small fraction of the discussions, seminars and presentations from this year's conference series. Speakers Richard Flavell and...  Read More

Overview of Genetic Modification Techniques

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The first genetically-modified mouse capable of transferring its modified genome to offspring was developed in the early 1980s. Since then, multiple genetic modification techniques have been developed to modify rodent genomes and are still commonly used today. Random and targeted transgenesis are commonly used today to study the effects of incorporating exogenous DNA for the purposes of expressing proteins not normally present in mice and rats, while...  Read More

Gut-Derived Iga+Ve Plasma Cells Suppresses Neuroinflammation in MS Mouse Model

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The glial cells play pivotal roles in the central nervous system (CNS) by supporting its development, maintaining homeostasis, producing myelin, and providing support and protection for neurons1. These cells are increasingly under scientific scrutiny in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders (ND). The activated microglia, a subset of glial cells, have been demonstrated to be the main determinant of neuroinflammation that contributes to neurodegeneration2. Increasing evidence supports the...  Read More

How Antibiotics Affect Your Microbiome

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The human gut microbiome is a complex, highly-evolved commensal community with an integral role in your response to disease and how well you maintain homeostasis. While commensal bacteria vary from person to person, a person's specific microbiome should contain the same relative percentage of bacterial species over their lifespan. The balance of this community can be altered for weeks, months, and even years depending on diet, environmental...  Read More

Do you know what's in your water?

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Most researchers know the pain of trying and failing to replicate a published experiment. This can result from something as simple as a poorly written methods section, in which important experimental details have been omitted. Barnett and Gibson recently called out the importance of an in vivo experimental detail that is commonly left out and could alter the experimental performance of your research animals: subtle differences in...  Read More

New Treatments for Type I Diabetes

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While there is no cure for diabetes, new treatment options are achieving notable success improving insulin production via stem cell therapy and cell-identity switching. What is Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders in which a patient has higher-than-normal blood sugar levels for prolonged periods. If left untreated, diabetes can cause a plethora of harmful secondary conditions. According to the latest reports from the World...  Read More

Animal Models in Drug Discovery

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The use of animal models in research resulted in the advancement of knowledge for how diseases affect animals and humans. It has also led to the effective treatment of disease symptoms or in many cases disease cures. There are a wide variety of animal models used in drug discovery including, but not limited to Drosophila, C. elegans, mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, cats and non-human primates. Over the...  Read More

The Drug Discovery Process

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Introducing a new drug to market is a complex and time-consuming process that can cost pharmaceutical companies an average $2.6 billion and ten years of research and development. There are multiple defined stages for this process, each with their own associated challenges, timelines, and costs. This review will discuss the entire process, from target discovery through clinical trials and post-approval monitoring for the development of a new...  Read More

Defining the CNS Immune System, One Cell at a Time

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Illustrations of the three general phases of Alzheimer's Disease (AD): #1 Neuron, #2 Neuron with β-amyloid plaques, #3 Neuron with β-amyloid plaques (yellow) and activated microglia (red). In preclinical neuroscience research, the brain's resident immune system and its role in a multitude of CNS diseases have generated a newfound focus on its therapeutic possibilities6. Classically, the CNS has been regarded as having a relatively weak immune surveillance,...  Read More