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.

Non-Antibiotic Drugs Impact the Human Gut Microbiota

A new study in Nature, published in March 2018, revealed novel potential adverse effects of a broad variety of marketed drugs. The researchers found that many drugs designed to target human cells and not microbes could inhibit the growth of different intestinal bacterial strains. This suggests that these drugs can alter the gut microbiota, in turn leading to adverse effects on human health. The study was an...

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Gender-Dependent Impacts of Herbicides on the Microbiome

It is heavily debated whether the use of the weedkiller glyphosate in agriculture and gardening can induce dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, negatively affecting human and animal health. Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the microbiome composition associated with conditions such as colitis, metabolic syndrome, allergies, and more. Herbicides and the Microbiome We recently highlighted new Danish research showing that pure glyphosate and commercial formulations of glyphosate (e.g....

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Should You Breed or Buy Your Own Rodent Models?

Many research investigators are faced with a decision: should they buy laboratory rodents from a commercial vendor, or produce them with an in-house breeding colony? There are many factors to evaluate before the decision to "breed or buy" can be made. Following are a few questions and considerations that must be addressed before an informed decision can be made: Are the rodents available from a commercial vendor?...

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Microbiome Cycles Revealed by Low-Cost Gnotobiotic Cages

While developing a low-cost alternative to traditional gnotobiotic isolators, a team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) were able to characterize cyclical changes in the microbiomes of gnotobiotic mice. Their research has implications for both the design and affordability of gnotobiotic animal model research. High Cost of Gnotobiotic Isolators Isolators are the gold standard for rearing germ-free mice, but it is sometimes difficult to justify...

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In Vivo Study Design Challenges

A frankly shocking amount of research funding — perhaps as high as 85%, or $200 billion — is wasted on poorly designed studies. How can you improve your study design to avoid falling into this trend? Each day scientists plan, conduct, analyze and debate study design, hoping their efforts will lead to a cure or a new understanding of a critical biological pathway. Is it easy? No...

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'Collaborative Research Organizations' Are Your New CRO

Over the last two decades, the pharmaceutical industry has faced increasing challenges: declining R&D productivity, rising costs, competition from generics, greater regulatory complexity, and changing expectations of patient-centered healthcare. In response to these pressures, many companies are transforming the way in which medicines are discovered, developed, and brought to market. Two key trends are emerging: The proliferation of digital biotechs The externalization of drug development Contract Research...

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Deflating the CRISPR/Cas9 Off-Target Controversy

UPDATE: The paper which originally tied CRISPR/Cas 9 to off-target mutations in the mouse genome has been retracted. More information is available here. The use of CRISPR/Cas9 has profoundly affected mouse genetics by reducing the cost and the timeline associated with the introduction of mutations in the genome. But is it possible that CRISPR isn't specific enough for the generation of genetically engineered animal models? Since its...

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Mice with Horse Microbiota Validate Health Promoting Diet for Foals

Photo courtesy of F. Lindenberg Animal feed retailer Brogaarden recently launched a new prebiotic diet for foals that can reduce the risk of developing conditions such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome and colitis later in life. The diet works by promoting beneficial gut bacteria, such as Akkermansia muciniphila, in turn inducing regulatory immunity in the foals. The diet's effects were scientifically demonstrated by Industrial PhD Student Frederikke Lindenberg,...

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The Importance of Long QT Syndrome Research

April 17, 2002 was a day of record breaking heat in New York State. The day is very clear in my mind for several reasons; it was my last birthday in my 20s, I had just bought my first house (and was taking the week to paint as I had not planned on the heat), and my niece was rushed to the hospital after an episode of...

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Immunogenic peptide from PSF1 identified as potential new cancer vaccine target

Although much of the press for immuno-oncology (IO) has focused on checkpoint inhibitors, researchers are exploring many other types of IO therapeutics. Other types of IO therapies under development include bi-specific antibodies, CAR-T cells, and cancer vaccines. Researchers at Shionogi and Osaka University recently published a paper1 describing identification of a new tumor antigen with the potential for targeting via a cancer vaccine. Previous research showed that...

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