Taconic-Biomodels Microbiome Initiative
Seamless, Comprehensive Capabilities That Eliminate Barriers to Microbiome Research

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The gut microbiome plays a significant role in human health and disease. Indeed, this intricate network of microbes can alter the pharmacokinetics of drugs and generate metabolites that possess therapeutic potential. However, given the complexities of the microbiome, investigators aiming to contribute to this transformative space often lack easy access to the foundational products and study capabilities required to conduct microbiome-based studies. Most critical are the combination of germ-free animals, unique scientific expertise, and supporting gnotobiotic infrastructure.

The Taconic-Biomodels Microbiome Initiative (TBMI) is a unique collaboration of two service providers supporting gut microbiome research. Taconic Biosciences and Biomodels, LLC have come together to eliminate these barriers and enable investigators to bring to life their ideas and research into the impact of the microbiome on human health. Click here to download the TBMI flyer.

Seamless Access, Comprehensive Solutions

Together, Taconic and Biomodels provide researchers with seamless access to complete germ-free microbiome study solutions, from design to data. We've removed the logistical hurdles that once limited microbiome research by combining access to relevant animal models, germ-free animal production, and downstream in vivo research design, execution, and analytics.

This unique initiative turns microbiome study ideas into actionable plans without researchers having to invest in their own germ-free/gnotobiotic vivarium. Our solutions empower investigators to:

  • Explore the complex relationship between the microbiome and disease etiology and progression
  • Characterize the impact of the microbiome on drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, efficacy, and toxicity
  • Evaluate potential microbiome-based therapeutics in validated in vivo disease model paradigms

Key Features

Combining the Products and Capabilities to Drive Microbiome Research Forward

Foundational Expertise

The TBMI facilitates microbiome research by combining two foundational elements: reliable and customizable germ-free animal production with downstream gnotobiotic and microbiome-specific study capabilities.

  • Taconic is a pioneer in preclinical gnotobiotic rodent models and has generated germ-free mice and rats commercially since 1961
  • Biomodels' state-of-the-art gnotobiotic capabilities and laboratories combined with expertise in immunology, microbiology, and systems biology enable thoughtful design and execution of microbiome-related studies
  • We can establish germ-free production colonies of practically any mouse model, including proprietary models, and support any study related to microbiome research and therapeutic development with precise execution

Seamless Access

We make it easier for you to execute your novel study ideas and participate in transformative microbiome research. The TBMI bridges the gap from animal models to study-ready capabilities, eliminating access as a barrier to engaging in microbiome research.

  • We combine germ-free animal production capabilities (including germ-free rederivation), advanced study facilities, and powerful analytics—enabling you to bring new microbiome study ideas to fruition
  • Our start-to-finish approach takes your concept from animal model acquisition to study execution to data that drives informed decisions
  • Expertise in germ-free and gnotobiotic animal housing and handling—combined with aerobic and anaerobic microbiology capabilities—provides researchers with the utmost confidence in their studies

Consultative Collaboration

Taconic and Biomodels collaborate to consult with the customer on study objectives, develop a custom and detailed experimental plan, and deliver a study outcome complete with data, analysis, and interpretation. This empowers investigators to focus on creating and realizing their research vision without having to find and manage their service providers.

  • Your research journey starts with study-ready germ-free animals, be these off-the-shelf standard strains or a GEM of your choosing, progresses through proven microbiome research capabilities, and concludes with data-driven results
  • You have the freedom to oversee the study concept while a highly experienced scientific team turns your microbiome research vision into reality
  • Our scientific teams become your partner, leveraging our scientific expertise and our focus on planning to ensure project success

Taconic-Biomodels Microbiome Initiative Highlights


Decades of scaled germ-free animal production experience

Years' experience in contract in vivo research, including microbiome studies

Mouse models in our repository, including off-the-shelf and genetically engineered models (GEMs)

100% Support

Taking you from concept through model acquisition, study execution, and data-driven results

Microbiome Study Capabilities

Capabilities for Microbiome or Germ-Free Study Taconic Biomodels TBMI
Project/study design/budget
Germ-Free Rederivation
Germ-Free Animals & Long-Term Husbandry
Custom Microbiota Association
TruBIOME® Husbandry & Colony Management
Microbiology & Consortium Development
In Vivo Disease Modeling
Compound/Large Molecule Administration
In Vivo Capabilities/In-life Imaging
Study execution/sample collection
Data analyses/Interpretation/Final report

Featured Microbiome Resources

  • Microbiological Monitoring of Germ-Free and Gnotobiotic Colonies


    Microbiological Monitoring of Germ-Free and Gnotobiotic Colonies

  • How the Microbiome Affects Efficacy for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors


    How the Microbiome Affects Efficacy for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

  • Customized End-to-End Solutions to Explore the Microbiome in Preclinical Research

    On-Demand Webinar

    Customized End-to-End Solutions to Explore the Microbiome in Preclinical Research

  • Defined Microbiome Profiles Can Improve Mouse Model Predictability


    Defined Microbiome Profiles Can Improve Mouse Model Predictability

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Microbiome Models and Services

Historically, microbiome research has been hampered by requirements for unique expertise, facilities, and animals. The costs and logistics involved have proven significant barriers to entry for investigators who want to explore the microbiome's impact on disease etiology, progression, and treatment, as well as its potential as a therapeutic. Removing those barriers is the most effective way to advance microbiome research, and that is the intent of the Taconic-Biomodels Microbiome Initiative.
Over the past decade, multiple studies have shown a correlation between a patient's microbiota composition and a therapeutic's efficacy. For instance, three landmark studies published in 2018 demonstrated that the microbiome can modulate the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors used in immuno-oncology, such as anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 drugs, with significant variance between responders and non-responders1-3. More recent studies in Nature and Science have corroborated these findings. Additionally, published reviews have noted that the microbial biotransformation of drugs can inactivate therapeutics or lead to the accumulation of toxic metabolites4.
Given the documented impact of the microbiome on drug efficacy, bioavailability, and toxicity, failure to account for the potential influence of the gut microbiome may affect the reproducibility and predictability of preclinical studies. Just as proper controls and monitoring are needed to ensure the genetic integrity and health status of laboratory mice and rats, specialized analysis and husbandry methods are required to ensure that preclinical animals maintain their microbiome composition over time. Studies that require animal models with specific microbiota also require that the animals' microbial profiles are consistent when comparing experimental replicates. Contracting with a provider that can leverage a depth of experience producing gnotobiotic rodent models ensures that the necessary measures will be employed to control the microbiome of your preclinical research colony to minimize confounding factors.
A seamless approach to microbiome study support, which the Taconic-Biomodels Microbiome Initiative provides, takes the researcher from initial concept through selection and acquisition of the most relevant model, thoughtful design and precise exception of the study, and data-driven results. This approach combines the foundational elements that microbiome studies require, including relevant animal models, germ-free animal production, and downstream in vivo research design, execution, and analytics.
  1. Routy, B. et al. Gut microbiome influences efficacy of PD-1-based immunotherapy against epithelial tumors. Science (80). (2018). doi:10.1126/science.aan3706
  2. Gopalakrishnan, V. et al. Gut microbiome modulates response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma patients. Science (80). (2018). doi:10.1126/science.aan4236
  3. Matson, V. et al. The commensal microbiome is associated with anti-PD-1 efficacy in metastatic melanoma patients. Science (80). (2018). doi:10.1126/science.aao3290
  4. Enright, F. et al. The impact of the gut microbiota on drug metabolism and clinical outcome. Yale J. Biol. Med. (2016).

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