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.

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

Maintaining Quality Standards When Working with Research Models

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Factors affecting the quality and performance of research models include health, genetics, environment, and transportation. There are, of course, other factors, but these four can have the most significant impact on study outcomes and need to be considered when planning studies with animal models. Health Standards In general, health standards are defined by the level of known pathogenic organisms present in a research model. All commercial lab...  Read More

Webinar Q&A — Histopathological Characterization of the Diet Induced NASH B6

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The Diet Induced NASH B6 displays hepatic crown-like structures, which are a unique histopathological characteristic seen in human livers with NASH. These hepatic crown-like structures are macrophages surrounding hepatocytes with large lipid vacuoles (blue arrows). Macrophages also form inflammatory cell aggregates with other leukocytes (red arrows). 20x magnification, F4/80 IHC on the liver from a C57BL/6NTac male mouse on NASH diet for 27 weeks. Dr. Cynthia Besch-Williford...  Read More

New edition of classic reference, The Laboratory Rat

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The Laboratory Rat is a classic reference book found on the shelves of many researchers worldwide. The third edition of this reference is now available and it's been completely refreshed since the second edition was published in 2005. Sponsored by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), this text is considered the definitive reference on care of the laboratory rat. The third edition clocks in at...  Read More

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 vs. 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