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.

Seeing the Microbiome with Fresh Eyes

Anthony St. Leger and colleagues from the National Eye Institute at the National Institute of Health (NIH) recently published evidence that the ocular microbiome plays an important immunological role1. The Ocular Microbiome The surface of the human body is colonized by a diverse community of microorganisms, and the eye is no exception. Yet the ocular surface contains relatively few bacteria, approximately 150-fold fewer than the mouth2. Many...

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TH17-Inducing Gut Bacteria Can Promote Autism-like Behavior in Mouse Pups

Segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) in the terminal ileum of an 8-week-old Taconic B6 mouse On September 13, 2017 researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts Medical School simultaneously published papers in Nature on the same intriguing topic: a link between autism and infection during pregnancy. Previous epidemiological studies have shown an association between hospitalization during pregnancy due to severe infection and the...

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rasH2 and the 3Rs

In the spirit of Russell and Burch's 3Rs, scientists are developing new tools and methodologies to reduce the use of animal models wherever possible. A very good example is the rasH2 mouse model, which was developed as an alternative to the traditional, two-year carcinogenicity testing of compounds for mutagenic and non-mutagenic chemically- induced tumor formation. Transgenic Mice as an Ethical Alternative The rasH2 mouse was developed in...

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Remember to ARRIVE

In 2010 the ARRIVE (Animals in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines1 were proposed to address several reproducibility issues with in vivo animal model studies: Only 59% of 271 biomedical studies using rats, mice, or non-human primates that were assessed stated the hypothesis or objective of the study and the number and characteristics of the animals used (i.e., species, strain, sex, age, weight). 87% did not report...

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Improving Quality with the 3Rs

Designing your animal model studies with the 3Rs in mind — Replace, Reduce, Refine — is not only more humane, but can measurably improve the quality and efficiency of your research projects. When we think of improving quality in the life sciences, we might immediately jump to poorly calibrated equipment, expired reagents, or utilizing unvalidated processes. It is obvious that these will have a negative effect on...

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Webinar Q&A — Your Guide to the C57BL/6 Mouse

Did you miss Dr. Philip Dubé's recent webinar, The Most Important Mouse in the World - Your Guide to the C57BL/6 Mouse? His presentation explored genetic diversity amongst C57BL/6 substrains, the implications for GEM models, and the utility of the C57BL/6 mouse in studies of metabolism, immunology, oncology and behavior. Due to time constraints, many of the questions researchers submitted to his Q&A session went unanswered. Here...

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Chronic Pain Management Research and the Opioid Crisis

Developing novel drugs for chronic pain management — both more effective and less addictive than opioids — will reduce the number of patients at risk of opioid dependence. Chronic Pain and the Opioid Crisis More than 25% of Americans suffer from chronic pain. This is on par with adults from equivalent regions; between 10-25% of adults in other western countries experience chronic pain, while some estimates of...

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LEM1 C. difficile Strain Prevents Pathogenic Infection

Researchers at Georgia State University made a surprising discovery1 while establishing a mouse model of C. difficile infection: a novel, endogenous strain of the bacteria which blooms after antibiotic therapy and protects its host from disease. This could potentially confound experimental results, as the LEM1 strain is inconsistently present among mouse model vendors. C. difficile Genes Appearing Prior to Infection To establish their model, the researchers treated...

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Humanized Mice at the Summer Toxicology Forum

The 43rd annual Summer Toxicology forum meeting was held on July 10-12, 2017 in Annapolis Maryland. The afternoon of July 10th was dedicated to a section titled "Use of Humanized Mice for Drug Development". The session was moderated by James Monroe, PhD, senior principle scientist at Merck Research Laboratories, and included presentations by researchers at the FDA, Merck, Yale, and Taconic Biosciences followed by a panel discussion...

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Baby Formula Feeding and the Infant Microbiome

Breastfeeding versus formula feeding of infants can be a controversial subject. Those who believe the "breast is best" may be interested in a new study which reports that components in infant formula modify the establishment of a baby's gut microbiota. How Formula Affects the Infant Microbiome Earlier research has shown that gut microbiome varies between formula-fed and breast-fed infants. Now, researchers from the Technical University of Denmark...

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