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.

Should You Breed or Buy Your Rodent Models?

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Many research investigators are faced with a decision: should they buy laboratory rodents from a commercial vendor or produce them from an in-house breeding colony? There are many factors to evaluate before the decision to "breed or buy" can be made. There are some situations in which you must breed your own mice or rats. The most common situation is use of a genetically engineered model (GEM)...  Read More

Generation of Genetically Engineered Mouse Models that are Susceptible to Human Viruses

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Most viruses have a narrow range of species in which they can establish an infection, for example, a virus that infects humans may not be able to infect laboratory research animals such as mice. This species-specificity presents researchers with a unique problem when studying human viruses. There are two means to address this — one is to modify the virus so that it can infect the target...  Read More

Webinar Q&A — Genetically Engineered Mouse Colitis Models for Preclinical Drug Development

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Dr. Philip Dubé of Taconic Biosciences presented a recent webinar on genetically engineered models (GEMs) of colitis, which are widely used for preclinical research on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Although a wide array of GEM colitis models exist, Dr. Dubé focused on a few models which are both most commonly used and most useful for drug discovery. He discussed the relevance of the disease mechanism in each...  Read More

Planning for Success with NASH mice: proper care and acclimation

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Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, also known as NASH, is categorized by liver inflammation and fibrosis due to a buildup of fat in the liver. It represents a more severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which currently has no approved pharmaceutical treatment. There are various types of mouse models used to study NASH, including diet-induced (both high fat and nutrient-deficient diets), chemically-induced, and genetic models. Of these, high...  Read More

Webinar Q&A — Next Generation Humanized Mice for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Natural Killer Cell Therapy Testing

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Dr. Amy Wesa, Director of Immuno-Oncology Research at Champions Oncology, recently presented a Taconic Biosciences' webinar to share her insights on leveraging murine systems toward establishing models that epitomize patient populations and enable predictive outcomes. This presentation described how Champions Oncology is complementing PDX models with incorporated human immune cells to drive the next generation of patient-derived models. Following her presentation, Dr. Wesa addressed numerous questions from...  Read More

An update on mouse kidney parvovirus

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The kidneys of immunodeficient mice infected with MKPV appear pale and shrunken on gross necropsy. Histology reveals significant fibrosis. Source: Roediger et al. Cell 20181 It's been over 18 months since mouse kidney parvovirus (MKPV) was identified as a novel pathogen causing inclusion body nephropathy and eventually renal failure and even death in immunodeficient mice. Roediger et al. described this finding in an Oct 2018 Cell paper:...  Read More

Mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strains unlock broader mouse modeling of COVID-19

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COVID-19 modeling in mice has been limited by species differences in the ACE2 protein between mice and humans. The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses the ACE2 protein to facilitate entry into cells. The mouse ACE2 receptor is not permissive for viral binding, and thus initial reports indicate that wild type mice cannot be infected with SARS-CoV-2 1,2. One approach to overcoming this challenge is the use of transgenic mice...  Read More

Transgenic hACE2 mice for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

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There is an urgent need to find mouse models to support the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and therapeutics and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study from Peking Union Medical College has demonstrated the promising application of humanized angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) transgenic mice for SARS-CoV-2 research1. Mouse models are widely used to develop and test the safety and efficacy of vaccines and antiviral drugs, as...  Read More

Taconic's Guide to the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II

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This year the second part of the American Association for Cancer Research's (AACR) Annual Meeting will be held virtually from June 22nd-24th. While the in-person annual AACR conference attracts over 23,000 researchers in multiple fields, the virtual meeting attendance could be even higher with free online access through AACR's website. Topics that will be discussed throughout the meeting include the latest developments in tumor biology and genetics,...  Read More

Webinar Q&A - Beyond HSCs: Humanized Immune System Models Based on PBMCs and Isolated Immune Cell Subsets

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Dr. Paul Volden recently presented a webinar on humanized immune system mouse models, focusing on engraftment of PBMCs and isolated cell subsets. Taconic has extensive experience with humanized mice, both from internal research as well as many collaborations with external partners. Although hematopoietic stem cell-engrafted models such as the huNOG and huNOG-EXL may be better known, these alternate humanization approaches offer advantages for certain studies. We present...  Read More