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.

Genetically Engineered Models in Drug Development

Why do 90% of compounds fail the FDA approval process after entering Phase I clinical trials?1 Many failed projects can be traced to unreliable preclinical assessments of toxicity and efficacy of the potential new drugs2 – often due to a lack of predictive and reliable in vivo testing. Wild-type mice and rats were the gold standard in the assessment of efficacy and toxicity for many years, due...

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World Cancer Day 2017

Cancer kills 8.2 million people every year, 4 million of whom die prematurely. Advancing the state of cancer research to prevent or mitigate this suffering is a worthy challenge for the global biosciences community. February 4 is World Cancer Day, dedicated to "awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action". Today, we want to recognize the contributions of those...

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Rat Polyomavirus 2 - A New Agent of Concern?

Recently, a novel rodent polyomavirus, rat polyomavirus 2 (RPyV2), was discovered. This new agent was isolated from a colony of highly immunodeficient rats which developed clinical illness, including emaciation, labored breathing and mortality, particularly among breeding females and pups. IDEXX BioResearch, working collaboratively with the affected academic institution, was finally able to identify the cause as a novel rat virus, which they named Rattus norvegicus polyomavirus 2...

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Mitochondrial Enzymes Link A. Parvulum and Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Recent attention has focused on the potential role of the microbiome in Crohn's, with a microbial network involving A. parvulum seemingly indicated in T cell activation and intestinal damage due to reduced mitochondrial H2S detoxification. Identifying Microbial Changes in New-Onset Crohn's Disease Multiple studies have shown that...

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Key Immunology Mouse Models in History

While the field of immunology has origins that date back to the 1500s, the field gained significant ground with the expanded use of mouse model systems. Fundamental discoveries elucidated in mouse models over the past 50 years are beginning to yield major breakthrough treatments for the most sinister human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer. The immunologist's major professional association, the American Association of Immunology,...

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CNV Psychiatric Disease Models Q&A

Dr. Michael Didriksen, whose work with Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals is bridging preclinical and clinical schizophrenia and psychosis science, presented a webinar focused on the application of three novel psychiatric disease models, all carrying high-risk genetic copy number variations (CNVs). His presentation on the research applications of mice carrying high-risk CNVs generated substantial interest from the neuropsychiatric community. Here are some of the most popular questions we received from...

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Fecal Microbiota Study Links Parkinson's Disease and the Microbiome

In a recent Cell publication, a team led by Timothy Sampson and Sarkis Mazmanian of Caltech showed that gut microbiota can promote inflammation of neurons and motor deficits in a human α-synuclein mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Connecting Parkinson's Disease and the Microbiome Emerging data suggest bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain in anxiety, depression, nociception, and autism spectrum disorder1,5,6. Much has been postulated over...

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Generating EAE Mouse Models of Multiple Sclerosis

Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely-accepted model of demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). How can you most efficiently generate EAE mouse models of multiple sclerosis and which mouse strains work best for this application? Although the exact details are not understood, the immune system is involved in MS pathogenesis. Like MS, EAE is characterized by infiltration of immune cells into the central nervous system...

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How is the Gut Microbiome Established?

Research isolating the key factors impacting establishment of an individual gut microbiome has interesting implications for the future of microbiome therapeutics - and translatable mouse model research. Microbiome population diversity is relatively stable throughout the life of a host organism, returning to a durable, individualized baseline after most disruptions. This baseline is established in infancy, through genetic and environmental factors, and appears resistant to changes in diet....

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Versatile Applications of the TNFα Mouse

Research models are often engineered to help answer a narrow set of experimental questions; however, cross-breedings and other experimental interventions allow investigators to dramatically broaden the utility of transgenic mouse models. This is particularly true for models with strong and relatively easy-to-monitor phenotypes, two properties which support a potential platform for multiple rapid discoveries. One such example is the human TNFα mouse: a transgenic mouse that over-expresses...

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