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 60 years through our commitment to anticipating clients’ needs and industry trends. One of the key trends of the past ten years involves our clients’ need to strategically outsource functional areas of their R&D programs. When companies, academic institutions, government agencies and others outsource certain R&D functions they begin to rely on their collaborators, such as Taconic, to keep them apprised of emerging science and technologies in our specific areas of expertise.
In this spirit of collaboration, we present "Taconic Insights", a new section of our website dedicated to educating the industry on key scientific and technological trends impacting biopharmaceutical R&D. Here you will find the latest insights Taconic can provide in the form of articles, white papers, videos, webinars, presentations, and other media.

A Redox Link between APOE4 and Alzheimer's Disease Risk?

A Redox Link between APOE4 and Alzheimer's Disease Risk? Individuals homozygous for APOE4, one of three common genetic variants encoding Apolipoprotein E (apoE), carry approximately twelve-times higher risk for an Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis. A recent study suggests a potentially critical link between apoE4 and the antioxidant enzyme Thioredoxin-1 (Trx1) may underlie enhanced AD risk in APOE4 carriers. APOE Alleles Modify Alzheimer's Risk ApoE protein is predominantly...

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Hot Topics at AALAS National Meeting 2017

During the week of October 15, 2017, I attended the 68th National AALAS meeting in Austin, Texas. It has been almost twenty years since I attended my first AALAS National meeting, and it was an excellent opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with colleagues to share lab animal science news. The meeting had ten posters and six platform sessions related to the animal model microbiome. Julia...

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Foundational Gnotobiotics Concepts

Gnotobiology isn't new, but the dramatic expansion of microbiome research has outpaced the development of a common nomenclature within the gnotobiotic research community. Many different, and sometimes confusing, terms are used when referring to different gnotobiotic concepts. To help, here's an overview of the most commonly used gnotobiotic rodent model concepts with examples of how these concepts are applied in basic research and drug discovery. Gnotobiology means...

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Reference DNA from Key Mouse Strains Now Available

Reproducibility Requires Genetic Quality The genetic integrity of laboratory mice and rats is an important contributor to research reproducibility, which is why commercial animal vendors invest in maintaining the genetic quality of standard inbred and outbred strains. As the technology to produce genetically engineered models (GEMs) becomes more widespread, a growing majority of GEMs are bred and used at individual institutions. This decentralization has created concerns regarding...

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Webinar Q&A — Advanced Toolkit for Syngeneic Tumor Modeling in Mice

Did you miss Dr. Philip Dubé's recent webinar, Advanced Toolkit for Syngeneic Tumor Modeling in Mice? His presentation introduced advanced concepts and critical considerations for studying immuno-oncology mechanisms and therapeutics in mice. Webinar Synopsis: Syngeneic models are becoming more advanced due to the availability of genetically engineered mouse models. This advanced toolkit makes it possible to study the many intricate mechanisms through which the immune system controls...

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Microbiome Summit Exploring Industry-Academic Partnerships

International microbiome experts from academia and industry recently came together for the inaugural Microbiome Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 5, 2017. Hosted by the Medicon Valley Alliance (MVA), this summit was intended to "bring together key ... stakeholders from academia, industry and the hospital sector ... to develop knowledge-sharing and a strong scientific community," according to chairman Morten Sommer. Sommer, also a Professor at the Novo...

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Cryopreservation Decision Tree

Use of genetically engineered rodent models in research requires maintaining the lines through some level of continuous breeding. This can be costly, labor intensive, and result in inefficient use of limited vivarium space — while leaving valuable genetic lines vulnerable to catastrophic loss and genetic drift. This Insight provides guidance on choosing between embryo or sperm cryopreservation based on the attributes of the model to be preserved....

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Novel Humanized Mouse Model Mirrors Patient Responses to Immunotherapy

For the first time, a team of scientists reproduced clinical responses to adoptive T-cell transfer in a rodent model of metastatic melanoma. This could support more accurate preclinical evaluation of novel immunotherapy agents. As described in Nature Communications, University of Gothenburg researchers leveraged the super-immunodeficient CIEA NOG mouse® to establish metastatic melanoma patient-derived xenografts (PDX) for subsequent autologous adoptive cell therapy (ACT). The researchers report tumor eradication...

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Sperm Cryopreservation Overview

Recent improvements in sperm cryopreservation and IVF protocols in mice established sperm cryopreservation as a reliable and efficient method for archiving and distributing genetically engineered mouse lines. Further, the ability to rapidly expand animal model colonies from frozen sperm make sperm cryopreservation a quick and effective method for the distribution and restoration of mouse lines. Sperm cryopreservation is the most common method for cryopreserving mouse lines. Sperm...

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Transferring the Wild Mouse Microbiome via Fecal Microbiota Transfer

An elegant new study proves "natural" microbiomes can be transferred to, and maintained in, SPF laboratory mice. The Problem with SPF Mice Historically, laboratory mice have been valued for their well-defined genetics and a health profile free from mouse pathogens. Over the last thirty years, efforts have been made to improve the health of laboratory mice by removing organisms that are deemed pathogenic. That list is now...

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