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.

Webinar Q&A — Case Study: Variance and its Implications on Study Design in the huNOG-EXL

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Schedule Consultation Dr. Janell Richardson recently presented a webinar on a case study that explored variance and its implications on study design in the huNOG-EXL, a humanized immune system (HIS) model. HIS models are the only in vivo model types to date that allow investigators to study, in real time, human immune cell function under both physiological and pathological conditions. Dr. Richardson provided an overview of HIS...  Read More

Myeloid Cells in Humanized Mice and Cancer Immunotherapy

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Immuno-oncology researchers are looking beyond T cells to other immune cells for the next cancer breakthrough. Myeloid cells (cells that originate from the common myeloid progenitor derived from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow) are among those new targets. This class of immune cells includes monocyte and granulocyte lineages including macrophages, dendritic cells, mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, and neutrophils. Myeloid cells have an important role in...  Read More

Novel Molecular Mechanisms of Colitis in the Mdr1a KO Mouse

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Mdr1a knockout mice are becoming a more frequently utilized colitis model in IBD research due to their translational relevance, microbiome-driven chronic phenotype of colitis, and presence of a functional immune system. However, the primary mechanisms by which colitis appears in the Mdr1a KO mouse are not fully understood. MDR1 is a drug and xenobiotic efflux pump with substrates ranging from steroids to glycolipids1. There are two genetic...  Read More

Meeting Report of Taconic's Virtual Workshop: IBD Mouse Modeling — Best Practices for Drug Discovery and Emerging Models

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Over 100 scientists joined Taconic Biosciences for the virtual workshop on "IBD Mouse Modeling - Best Practices for Drug Discovery and Emerging Models". The more than 3-hour event covered a variety of topics, including variability and reproducibility of the models and their use for target discovery and therapeutic efficacy. Prior to the event, many attendees submitted questions surrounding some of the challenges they have encountered with their...  Read More

Cre/loxP Recombination System: Applications, Best Practices, and Breeding Strategies

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Site-specific recombinases represent one of the most versatile tools available to scientists engaged in the generation and use of genetically engineered models (GEMs). Chief among these is Cre recombinase, discovered in the P1 bacteriophage and named as such because it causes recombination (Cre) between specific DNA sequences referred to as loxP (locus of crossover (x) in P1) sites, each of which are 34 base pairs in length1....  Read More

Humanized FKBP5 Mouse Models Support Study of Psychiatric Disorders

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Psychiatric disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, are multifactorial and polygenic. The underlying risks for these diseases are increasingly linked in epidemiologic studies to the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors. These risk factors can act cumulatively throughout a patient's lifetime, with adverse life events being strong risk predictors1. This likely occurs by combined effects of adversity with genetic predispositions that together alter gene regulation...  Read More

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

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