NEW MODEL: Jh mouse on B6 background Learn More

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.

Antibody-deficient mice overcome obstacles to efficacy testing of biologics

photo from Antibody-deficient mice overcome obstacles to efficacy testing of biologics

Structure of EMD Serono's bifunctional immune-oncology therapeutic M7824, from Lan et al.3 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...  Read More

How the Microbiome Affects Efficacy for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

photo from How the Microbiome Affects Efficacy for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

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

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

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

photo from Putting Humanized Immune System Models to Work in Drug Discovery

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

photo from How Humanized Immune System Models Are Enhancing Biologics Drug Discovery

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

photo from Defined Microbiome Profiles Can Improve Mouse Model Predictability

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

photo from The Role of Inflammation in Parkinson's Disease

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

photo from Licensing Can Make or Break Access to Genetically Engineered Models

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

photo from Three Methods for Generating Humanized Mice

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