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.

Genetic Background of Mice Influences Microbiome

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Source: Graphical Abstract. Khan et al., 20191 The microbiome continues to be an important topic in both human health research and in popular culture. The microbiome is cited as a factor in multiple diseases, neurological conditions, and immune responses to foreign pathogens. Specific compositions of gut commensal bacteria have been associated with an increased incidence of depression, varying responses to immunotherapies, and the progression of neurodegenerative disease...  Read More

Benefits of Humanized Mice for CAR-T Immunotherapy Studies

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CAR T cell (CAR-T) therapy is a relatively recent immunotherapy with the first drugs approved for human use by the FDA in 2017. This type of immunotherapeutic utilizes T cells extracted from patient blood which are subsequently modified to target cancer cells. The modification enables these cells to express the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) on the cellular surface, directing the CAR T cells to recognize and kill...  Read More

Utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 as a genome editing therapeutic in mouse models of human disease

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The application of CRISPR/Cas9 as a mammalian gene editing technology has tremendously matured over the last decade. This has paved the way for the development of CRISPR/Cas9 as therapeutic tool to treat human genetic disease, while making it easier to create the genetically modified animal models required to screen potential therapeutics. In Vivo CRISPR/Cas9-Based Therapeutics in Clinical Trials Current clinical trials utilizing this technology focus on gene...  Read More

SIOP and Russell & Burch's 3Rs

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R.L. Burch and W.M.S. Russell2 W.M.S. Russell (1925-2006) and R.L. Burch (1926-1996) originated the concepts of replacement, reduction, and refinement, which they published in their 1959 book, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique (Principles)1. The Principles was presented not as the final word of this science, but as a foundation for future developments. The 3Rs, as Russell and Burch first called them, were put forward not just...  Read More

Alzheimer's Disease: Steps towards more translational research models

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Alzheimer's Disease International reports there are 50 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer's Disease (AD), but there remain few approved treatments and no cure. The amount spent to care for patients with AD is over $1 trillion USD, or 1% of global GDP, and experts believe that number will grow to 152 million people by 2050. So where are we in the search for an effective treatment...  Read More

After 40 Years a New TB Drug is Approved

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Source: TB Alliance Nonprofit Wins FDA Approval for Tuberculosis Drug At the end of the summer, the TB Alliance announced the approval of a new drug to treat some of the most drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB). This is the first time the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a TB drug developed by a not-for-profit entity. The TB Alliance is dedicated to the discovery,...  Read More

RNA Therapeutics: siRNA

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RNA-based therapeutics are a relatively new class of drugs based on RNA sequences. There are three main classes of RNA therapeutics: small interfering RNA (siRNA), RNA aptamers, and ribozymes. siRNA Therapeutics and Gene Expression Last year, the first siRNA-based therapeutic was approved by the FDA. The drug, called ONPATTRO® (patisiran), developed by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, aims to treat peripheral nerve disease caused by hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis in...  Read More

New gene therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

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It is estimated that 5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). AD is a progressive, lifelong condition for which there is currently no cure. Treatment consists of managing the symptoms associated with the disease and include medicines that aim to maintain mental function, manage behavioral symptoms, and slow down memory loss1,2. Many clinical trials are currently active in the study of AD-related drugs. One...  Read More

New Drugs and Research for Breast Cancer

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there is some good news to share in 2019. Over the last year, three new drugs have been approved by the FDA to treat various forms of the disease, among them an immunotherapy for metastatic or unresectable breast cancer. This Insight will highlight these new drugs and how they act to treat various forms of breast cancer. FDA Approves...  Read More

Modeling Inflammatory Diseases with NOD2 Knockout Mice

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How the Mucosal Barrier Maintains Homeostasis The mucosal barrier lining the digestive tract is not homogenous and consists of three main components1: An intestinal epithelium, physically separating external environment from the deeper tissues of the body, which contains seven cell types, including stem cells required for epithelial renewal, and some immune cells A mucus layer, composed of mucins and antimicrobial peptides, which forms a protective layer over...  Read More