Taconic Insights

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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.

How Humanized Immune System Models Are Enhancing Biologics Drug Discovery

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Biologics drug discovery is clearly on the rise as evidenced by the growing number of drug approvals in this therapeutic category. During 2018-2019, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved 27 new biologic drugs compared to 19 approved in the previous two-year period1. Biologics also make up an increasing percentage of R&D pipelines; per the 2019 Pharmaprojects Pharma R&D...  Read More

Defined Microbiome Profiles Can Improve Mouse Model Predictability

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It is well documented that the microbiome can impact both the development of disease and the efficacy of therapeutics. The microbiome also is consistently cited as a significant contributor to preclinical study variability and reproducibility, in part due to its effects on a mouse model's predictability. With a strong incentive to better understand the role of the microbiome in disease development and treatment, the research community continues...  Read More

The Role of Inflammation in Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson's Disease (PD) affects over 10 million people worldwide and is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder1,2. Key research areas include genetics studies of patients with PD, target optimization for new treatments, the biology of cellular signaling pathways (α-synuclein, LRRK2, GBA, PRKN/PINK1, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction), biomarkers for PD onset and progression, and new imaging techniques to measure brain changes and activity. The Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative...  Read More

Licensing Can Make or Break Access to Genetically Engineered Models

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Genetically engineered models (GEMs) serve as a backbone of drug discovery. Yet, accessing the most relevant GEM for a particular research objective is not always a simple task. Licensing issues can create hurdles for investigators who need a model ideally suited to their study objectives. Intellectual property (IP) factors must be considered early on; otherwise, a researcher could inadvertently violate a model's licensing restrictions, delaying the study...  Read More

Three Methods for Generating Humanized Mice

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Humanized mice are valuable preclinical tools that enable researchers to perform more translationally-relevant studies. These models are mice that contain functioning human genes, cells, tissues, or microbiota. There are three ways to humanize a mouse: human immune system engraftment into an immunodeficient host, replacement of mouse genes with their human homologues, or transferring fecal microbiota from a human donor into a germ-free mouse1,2. This Insight will review...  Read More

Cell Therapy for Cancer: Preclinical Models to Study T cell-mediated Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD)

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Even in the era of COVID-19, scientific research beyond the scope of novel infectious diseases marches on. Such was the case recently for the virtual 23rd annual American Society for Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) meeting. ASGCT convenes the clinical and research communities and patient advocates annually to advance knowledge, awareness, and education leading to discovery and clinical application of gene and cell therapies to alleviate disease....  Read More

Maintaining Quality Standards When Working with Research Models

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Factors affecting the quality and performance of research models include health, genetics, environment, and transportation. There are, of course, other factors, but these four can have the most significant impact on study outcomes and need to be considered when planning studies with animal models. Health Standards In general, health standards are defined by the level of known pathogenic organisms present in a research model. All commercial lab...  Read More

Webinar Q&A — Histopathological Characterization of the Diet Induced NASH B6

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Dr. Cynthia Besch-Williford of IDEXX BioAnalytics and Dr. Janell Richardson of Taconic Biosciences recently presented a webinar on histopathological characterization of the Diet Induced NASH B6. Histology remains the current gold standard for diagnosis of NASH in humans and it's an important readout for preclinical efficacy studies. Dr. Richardson provided a brief overview of NASH preclinical models and introduced the Diet Induced NASH B6. Dr. Besch-Williford, a...  Read More

New edition of classic reference, The Laboratory Rat

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The Laboratory Rat is a classic reference book found on the shelves of many researchers worldwide. The third edition of this reference is now available and it's been completely refreshed since the second edition was published in 2005. Sponsored by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), this text is considered the definitive reference on care of the laboratory rat. The third edition clocks in at...  Read More

Should You Breed or Buy Your Rodent Models?

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Many research investigators are faced with a decision: should they buy laboratory rodents from a commercial vendor or produce them from an in-house breeding colony? There are many factors to evaluate before the decision to "breed vs. buy" can be made. There are some situations in which you must breed your own mice or rats. The most common situation is use of a genetically engineered model (GEM)...  Read More

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