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Oncology and Immuno-Oncology INSIGHTS

Antibody-deficient mice overcome obstacles to efficacy testing of biologics

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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

Putting Humanized Immune System Models to Work in Drug Discovery

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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

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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

Three Methods for Generating Humanized Mice

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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

Cell Therapy for Cancer: Preclinical Models to Study T cell-mediated Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD)

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Even in the era of COVID-19, scientific research beyond the scope of novel infectious diseases marches on. Such was the case recently for the virtual 23rd annual American Society for Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) meeting. ASGCT convenes the clinical and research communities and patient advocates annually to advance knowledge, awareness, and education leading to discovery and clinical application of gene and cell therapies to alleviate disease....  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

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

Taconic Biosciences Learn at Home Series: Oncology

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With many researchers and laboratory animal professionals under orders to remain at home to limit the spread of coronavirus, we know you may have a bit more time on your hands than usual. To help keep you engaged while working from home, Taconic Biosciences has pulled together a series of educational materials organized around different therapeutic areas. The first track is available now, with additional tracks available...  Read More

Challenges in Models of Myeloid Cell Engraftment in Humanized Mice

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Humanized immune system mice are revolutionary research tools for the development of novel immune cell-targeting oncology therapeutics, but the use of first-generation models such as the huNOG (NOG mice engrafted with human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells) has been limited for some applications by impaired human myeloid cell differentiation. Several investigators sought to understand the mechanistic bottleneck and identified evolutionary disparities between mouse cytokine growth factors and human...  Read More