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.

Thermoneutrality and Preclinical Modeling of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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Numerous strains of mice will develop obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) when fed a "Western" diet enriched in saturated or trans fats, cholesterol, glucose, and fructose. This triggers weight gain, hepatic steatosis, and lipotoxic inflammation, leading to liver fibrosis and dysfunction. In many ways this mimics the etiology and progression of the spectrum of human disease. Obesity and its resulting comorbidities largely...  Read More

Utility of Diet Induced Rodent Models to Investigate Dysregulation of Bile Acids in NASH

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Bile acids (BAs) are small detergent molecules that are primarily known for their ability to promote intestinal lipid absorption. While their primary function is associated with gut metabolism, they also are key players in other physiological signaling pathways related to microbiome maintenance, the regulation of glucose, lipid, and energy homeostasis, and cellular immunity. One of the fundamental areas of investigation in BA metabolism is how BA mechanisms...  Read More

Important Differences in Human Cell Frequencies, Cytokine Profiles, and Survival between Humanized NOG-EXL and NSG-SGM3 Mice

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Humanized immune system mice are valuable tools for a wide variety of research including studies in immuno-oncology, autoimmune, and infectious disease. But understanding the utility of such models has been hampered somewhat by the wide variety of humanization protocols in use as well as donor-specific effects. The Details Matter When It Comes to Humanization The process to generate a humanized immune system mouse is complex. Many different...  Read More

Modeling the Complex Disorder of NASH

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Changing diets and lifestyles across much of the world contribute to a wide range of diseases and health conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Another looming health crisis related to lifestyle is now on the horizon: a surge in the incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a more severe form of NAFLD. As researchers aim to unravel this complex...  Read More

The Role of NK Cells as an Immunotherapeutic

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The field of immuno-oncology continues to grow and its focus now includes various therapeutic approaches modulating one or more human immune cell types. T cells have been the most widely investigated and are the target of a spectrum of biologics; examples include manipulation of native T cells by checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive cell therapies such as CAR-T cells or the ex vivo expansion of TILs. The FDA...  Read More

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

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

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

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