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 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.

The Issue of Sex vs. Gender in Preclinical Animal Model Studies

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In science, it is of the utmost importance to be precise and accurate with language. It is not uncommon for scientists to operationalize, or define, a term that may vary in meaning across different contexts or research groups. However, when scientists use words incorrectly or interchangeably, this can be confusing and detrimental, particularly if those words actually represent discrete experimental variables. In fact, what if one of...  Read More

Considerations for Performing a Successful Syngeneic Tumor Study

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As the focus of cancer treatment has shifted—from directly targeting and destroying a tumor to leveraging the body's immune system to fight the tumor—there has been a corresponding change in how researchers use animal models in their preclinical oncology studies. While xenograft studies utilizing immunodeficient models once served as the primary approach for oncology research, the rise in immunotherapy has moved syngeneic tumor models back into the...  Read More

BALB/c Il10 Knockout Mice are Useful Tools for IBD and Colitis Research

photo from BALB/<span style='text-transform: lowercase;'>c</span> I<span style='text-transform: lowercase;'>l</span>10 Knockout Mice are Useful Tools for IBD and Colitis Research

Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are a promising recent addition to the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) armamentarium. Tofacitinib, a small molecule pan-JAK inhibitor, received FDA approval in 2018 for the treatment of adult patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis1. Tofacitinib is non-selective and inhibits all four JAK isoforms (JAK1, JAK2, JAK3, TYK2), and research is currently underway to determine if isoform- or tissue-specific JAK inhibition could offer better efficacy...  Read More

Inosine, a Microbiome Metabolite, Affects the Efficacy of Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy

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Drugs targeting immune checkpoint inhibitor pathways have shown tremendous promise in treating various types of cancer and have been highly effective in a number of patients. However, for a subset of cancer patients this new type of treatment approach has failed to work. Recently, a series of landmark studies demonstrated that the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies is dependent upon the presence of specific gut bacteria1-3....  Read More

Antibody-deficient mice overcome obstacles to efficacy testing of biologics

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Learn how the Jh Mouse Supports Syngeneic Studies Immunogenicity can obscure efficacy in early preclinical research Biologic drugs such as monoclonal antibodies or RNA therapies can trigger immune reactions (immunogenicity) upon treatment. Such immune reactions can result in reduced drug efficacy as well as safety issues. This can be a problem not only in the clinic, but also in the discovery phase. Administration of monoclonal antibodies and...  Read More

How the Microbiome Affects Efficacy for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

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As researchers continue to explore the complex relationship between the microbiome and disease, a key point of focus is understanding how the microbiome impacts drug efficacy. Both preclinical and clinical findings increasingly demonstrate that the microbiome can impact how therapeutics work — as well as the degree to which preclinical findings can be translated to the clinic reliably. The gastrointestinal tract represents the largest reservoir of microbes...  Read More

A Guide to Monitoring NASH Progression in Diet-Induced Mouse Disease Models

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Numerous diet-based models have been developed to induce nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) in mice. Chronic consumption of high-energy feeds enriched with fat causes steatotic buildup, lipotoxic inflammation, hepatic dysfunction, and liver fibrosis. Next generation diets1 include fructose and cholesterol as accelerants toward the diseased liver state. A key challenge to using diet-induced NASH mice for preclinical research involves selection and quantification of disease endpoints....  Read More

Putting Humanized Immune System Models to Work in Drug Discovery

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Researchers today have access to sophisticated human immune system (HIS) mouse models that enable them to ask questions that simply weren't possible to explore with more basic models. While HIS models were once considered interesting tools, albeit mostly academic, now they are widely used in pharmaceutical and biotech companies for research on a variety of disease states. Understanding how HIS models have evolved, the various immune cell...  Read More

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

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