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.

The Effect of Gut Bacteria on Bone Health Cannot be Generalized

Previously, a number of different studies using germ-free (GF) mice have indicated that the gut microbiota regulates bone density. However, the results have been conflicting. Reports demonstrate both beneficial and detrimental effects of the microbiota on bone health. A new study published in mSphere in January 2018 positions itself right in between the conflicting previous studies. The researchers demonstrated no effect of different human and murine microbiotas...

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Tauopathy Alzheimer's Disease Models Yield Contrasting Results

In a recent Alzheimer's Research and Therapy article, scientists described failing to elicit beneficial effects from a tau-directed antibody therapy while evaluating its efficacy in the Tg4510 mouse, an Alzheimer's disease (AD) model with a tamoxifen-controlled transgene expressing P301L mutant tau. The results contrast prior successes reported with the antibody therapy the researchers were testing. The therapeutic, a tau oligomer-specific monoclonal antibody (TOMA), was reported to rescue...

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Selecting Translatable NASH Animal Models

The global obesity epidemic has pushed associated liver diseases to the forefront of research, yet no existing animal model of NASH or NAFLD fully recapitulates its clinical presentation. This presents a challenge for effective study design: how do you select the most appropriate and translatable animal model for studying the pathophysiology of NASH? Causes of NASH in Humans Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects 30-40% of US...

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2018 Microbiome Conferences

Looking for a microbiome meeting or conference to attend in 2018? The Translational Microbiome Research Forum (TMRF) lists thirty-two 2018 conferences, so far, and updates their event page upon announcement of new meetings. A quick survey of the events shows eighteen taking place in the US or Canada, twelve in Europe and Israel, and two in Singapore. Twenty-six of these microbiome conferences are general-interest forums, focusing on...

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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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