Oncology & Immuno-Oncology
Mouse & Rat Portfolio

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Taconic Biosciences uniquely combines a broad portfolio of models, including advanced genetically engineered models (GEMs) and humanized mice with integrated IP access, with expertise in oncology model generation and breeding, all with an ecosystem of scientific support designed to always provide our customers with the best solution.

The Best Solution Starts Here

Access to a robust humanized immune system mouse model portfolio built on the super immunodeficient CIEA NOG mouse®.

Broad catalog of models for syngeneic studies, including standard inbred strains and suites of GEMs and immunodeficient strains on C57BL/6 and BALB/c strain backgrounds to facilitate mechanistic studies.

Models to address various human cell types of interests, including T cells, myeloid cells, NK cells, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), and CAR-T cells.

Taconic is the only vendor to empower customers to obtain key GEMs without an MTA or license fee.

Extensive methodologies for generating novel oncology GEMs:

  • Inducible, conditional and inducible conditional (i.e. CreERT) models
  • Oncogenes can be studied more in-depth and controlled in tissue- or temporal-specific manner

Comprehensive toolkit of model generation methodologies and extensive colony management experience reduce time to cohort via rapid expansion.


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Humanized IMMUNE SYSTEM Mice

Humanized immune system models are widely applied in preclinical immuno-oncology research. Selection of the best strain starts from determination of which human cell types are of interest. Humanized immune system mice can be co-engrafted with human tumor cell lines or patient-derived xenografts for the ultimate immuno-oncology preclinical tool.


Syngeneic tumor mouse models are widely used for immuno-oncology because they offer an in vivo system with normal immune function for testing immune-modulating therapeutics. Taconic offers a deep toolbox for syngeneic studies, from common inbred strains through GEM models for sophisticated experiments.

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Immunodeficient mice and rats are used as hosts for xenografts and for immune system humanization. Taconic offers a range of strains from nudes through super immunodeficient to facilitate studies using both human cell lines and patient-derived xenografts as well as sophisticated humanized immune system models for immuno-oncology studies.


The CIEA NOG mouse® is a versatile and widely used super immunodeficient model with broad global adoption by researchers in both academia and industry. The NOG mouse is the model of choice for xenografts, particularly difficult to engraft cell lines and patient-derived xenografts, as well as immune system humanization.

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Cancer GEMs are models in which particular mutations have been introduced to provoke spontaneous tumor development. These models are often designed such that they carry mutations found in particular human cancer types. Taconic offers several spontaneous tumor mice and rat models. These models are particularly useful for studies of tumorigenesis and tumor prevention.

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Transgenic mice which express human HLA molecules are used for cancer immunotherapy research in several ways. Example applications include evaluation of HLA-restricted CTL epitope responses in vivo, determining the immunogenicity of novel cancer vaccines, and to test expansion and response of chimeric antigen receptor T cells.

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Taconic Biosciences' globally-recognized scientific project managers support your custom model design project from design to delivery. Each custom model design project develops along an agile framework, letting you reassess and retarget your model fluidly as new data becomes available. You can pause or postpone projects at any time, or even "back up" project milestones via cryopreservation.

Model Generation Solutions
& Breeding Services

  • Model Acquisition
  • Transition Mutant to Model
  • Scaled Breeding
  • Specialized Services
  • Distribution

Colony Management Solutions

  • Extensive Health Standard Options
  • True Gnotobiotic Profiles
  • Genetic Monitoring Programs
  • Scientific Leadership & Success Team
  • Custom Solutions for Every Partner


Specifically for Oncology and Immuno-Oncology, our PhD field application scientists provide expertise on experimental design and selection of ideal oncology/immuno-oncology models with PhD scientific program managers providing custom tailored breeding and colony management solutions to ensure your research success of support that empowers customers with the best solution.



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  • thumbnail image for Upcoming Webinar: Immuno-Oncology Application of Humanized Immune System (HIS) Mice Supporting Human Myeloid and Lymphoid Cells - Part 2 in a webinar series

    Upcoming Webinar Series

    Immuno-Oncology Application of Humanized Immune System (HIS) Mice Supporting Human Myeloid and Lymphoid Cells - Part 2 in a webinar series

  • Syngeneic Mouse Models for Preclinical Immuno-Oncology Research

    White Paper

    Syngeneic Mouse Models for Preclinical Immuno-Oncology Research

  • Variance and its Implications on Study Design in the user of a Humanized Immune System Mouse (huNOG-EXL) Lung Cancer Model

    On-Demand Webinar

    Variance and its Implications on Study Design in the User of a Humanized Immune System Mouse (huNOG-EXL) Lung Cancer Model

  • An introduction to Humanized Immune System Mouse Models

    White Paper

    An Introduction to Humanized Immune System Mouse Models


Both types of experimental systems have great utility in immuno-oncology research, and the most appropriate model depends on your specific research question. Syngeneic tumor mouse models maintain a fully-intact immune system, have a tumor that is genetically-matched with immune system and stroma, but contain a mouse tumor and mouse immune system, which will vary from the human versions. Humanized immune system (HIS) mice contain modified immune systems but have the potential for greater translatability by studying human tumors and human immune cells together. Additional factors to consider are whether your test article recognizes mouse and/or human targets, whether the immune cell of interest is present in a humanized mouse model, and whether you are performing large-scale screening (a syngeneic tumor model may be faster and more cost-effective) versus investigating mechanistic questions for a late-stage drug candidate (a humanized immune system model may be most appropriate).
While the use of mice has provided important insight into our understanding of normal and pathophysiological processes, the biological differences between mice and humans are limiting factors in the translation of many immunotherapies to the clinical setting. There is thus a growing need for mouse models that more faithfully recapitulate important features of human biology. Towards this goal, various methods have been developed to humanize mice, and these models are quickly becoming an essential tool for basic and applied research. Humanized immune system mice have provided critical insights into development of cancer immunotherapies due to their ability to model the interaction between the human immune system and cancer in vivo. Genetically humanized mice which express a human target protein may be useful when the mouse and human versions of a protein differ significantly. Finally, microbiome humanization is starting to illuminate questions such as why do some patients respond to immunotherapies while others do not.
There are many variations of humanized immune system mice, and the best model for a particular study must consider the immune cell(s) of interest, the tumor of interest, the likely study window needed and more. At a high level, the two most commonly used humanization methods in these models are CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) engraftment , which involves the transplantation of human hematopoietic stem cells that engraft and differentiate into various types of human immune cells, and PBMC engraftment, in which human peripheral blood mononuclear cells are injected. These methods are combined with a range of host strains, and the resulting models differ in the cell types that engraft, immune function of the engrafted human cells, as well as timelines for development and the useful study window. Thus use of the appropriate system is dependent upon the scientific question under investigation.

Taconic's Field Applications Scientists can help you determine which humanized model will best suit your research goals.
Humanized models based on engraftment of CD34+ HSCs require more lead time for the humanized immune system to fully develop, but also offer a longer study window, though this exact window depends on the host strain. These models also tend to develop a wider range of functional human immune cells in the periphery. Taconic's humanized huNOG and huNOG-EXL mice are engrafted with human CD34+ HSCs which promote the development of a humanized model with human lymphocytes that are present in peripheral blood, bone marrow, thymus, and spleen. While these models can be used for long-term studies, not all human immune cell types are present or completely functional.

Taconic's humanized huPBMC mice are engrafted with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). These models are primarily thought of as T cell models. While they are relatively easy and fast to development, they have a much shorter lifespan and can only be used for studies on the order of weeks, not multiple months. However, these models can be particularly useful for graft versus host disease (GvHD) studies.
First, select a syngeneic cell line based on the type of cancer that will be investigated. Second, navigate to Taconic's syngeneic cell line database and filter based on cancer type. This database will also display what background strain(s) are available in which to study the chosen cancer. Order the tumor cell line from your preferred cell line vendor and determine the exact type of mouse model needed for this study.
There is a wide range of humanized immune system models, and the appropriate combination of a host strain, engraftment method and cell source can often provide a model which offers one or multiple human immune cells. Options are available to study the following types of human immune cells:
  • T cells, including CD4+, CD8+ and Treg
  • NK cells
  • Dendritic cells, including mDCs and pDCs
  • Monocytes, including classical, non-classical and intermediate
  • Macrophages
  • Granulocytes
  • Eosinophils
  • Basophils
  • Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs)
  • Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs)
  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs)

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