Breaking News
December 13, 2018 - Virginia Tech and UC San Diego researchers team up to develop nonopioid drug for chronic pain
December 13, 2018 - NIH offers support for HIV care and prevention research in the southern United States
December 12, 2018 - Activating brain region could revive the urge to socialize among opioid addicts
December 12, 2018 - Relationship impairment appears to interfere with seeking mental health treatment in men
December 12, 2018 - Sleep, Don’t Cram, Before Finals for Better Grades
December 12, 2018 - Effective treatments for urticarial vasculitis
December 12, 2018 - Gun violence is a public health issue: One physician’s story
December 12, 2018 - The Science of Healthy Aging
December 12, 2018 - Yes to yoghurt and cheese: New improved Mediterranean diet
December 12, 2018 - Researchers uncover a number of previously unknown insecticide resistance mechanisms
December 12, 2018 - Regulating the immune system’s ‘regulator’
December 12, 2018 - In breaking bad news, the comfort of silence
December 12, 2018 - Study finds upward link between alcohol consumption and physical activity in college students
December 12, 2018 - FDA issues warning letter to Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical involved in valsartan recall
December 12, 2018 - Presence of antiphospholipid antibodies tied to first-time MI
December 12, 2018 - New study could help inform research on preventing falls
December 12, 2018 - Women and men with heart attack symptoms receive different care from EMS
December 12, 2018 - Disrupted biological clock can contribute to onset of diseases, USC study shows
December 12, 2018 - New publications generate controversy over the value of reducing salt consumption in populations
December 12, 2018 - New data from TAILORx trial confirms lack of chemo benefit regardless of race or ethnicity
December 12, 2018 - Specific class of biomarkers can accurately indicate the severity of cancer
December 12, 2018 - Meds Taken Do Not Vary With ADL Impairment in Heart Failure
December 12, 2018 - Long-term study shows that HIV-2 is deadlier than previously thought
December 12, 2018 - People living near oil and gas wells show early signs of cardiovascular disease
December 12, 2018 - IONTAS founder and pioneer in phage display technology attends Nobel Prize Award Ceremony
December 12, 2018 - People who eat red meat have high levels of chemical associated with heart disease, study finds
December 12, 2018 - New method uses water molecules to unlock neurons’ secrets
December 12, 2018 - Genetics study offers hope for new acne treatment
December 12, 2018 - New computer model predicts prostate cancer progression
December 12, 2018 - Nobel Laureates lecture about immune checkpoint therapy for cancer treatment
December 12, 2018 - More Illnesses From Tainted Romaine Lettuce Reported
December 12, 2018 - Aspirin could reduce HIV infections in women
December 12, 2018 - The EORTC Brain Tumor Group and Protagen AG collaborate to study immuno-competence of long-term glioblastoma survivors
December 12, 2018 - Insights into magnetotactic bacteria could guide development of biological nanorobots
December 12, 2018 - Sacrificial immune cells alert body to infection
December 12, 2018 - Low-salt diet may be more beneficial for females than males
December 12, 2018 - Major soil organic matter compound battles chronic wasting disease
December 12, 2018 - Findings may open up new ways to treat dwarfism and other ER-stress-related conditions
December 12, 2018 - New computational model provides clearer picture of shape-changing cells’ structure and mechanics
December 12, 2018 - 10 Facts on Patient Safety
December 12, 2018 - Poorest dying nearly 10 years younger than the rich in ‘deeply worrying’ trend for UK
December 12, 2018 - Innovative care model for children with ASD reduces use of behavioral drugs in ED
December 12, 2018 - Spending time in and around Hong Kong’s waters linked to better health and wellbeing
December 12, 2018 - Simple measures to prevent weight gain over Christmas
December 12, 2018 - Research advances offer hope for patient-tailored AML treatment
December 12, 2018 - Researchers discover a ‘blind spot’ in atomic force microscopy
December 12, 2018 - Sprayable gel could help prevent recurrences of cancer after surgery
December 12, 2018 - SLU researchers explore how fetal exposure to inflammation can alter immunity in newborns
December 12, 2018 - How do patients want to discuss symptoms with clinicians?
December 12, 2018 - Zinc chelation may be able to deliver drug to insulin-producing cells
December 12, 2018 - Brigham researchers develop automated, low-cost tool to predict a woman’s ovulation
December 12, 2018 - Some people with Type 2 diabetes may be testing their blood sugar more often than needed
December 12, 2018 - Slow-growing type of glioma may be vulnerable to immunotherapy, suggests study
December 12, 2018 - Study provides new information regarding microRNA function in cellular homeostasis of zebrafish
December 12, 2018 - Study provides new understanding of mysterious ‘hereditary swelling’
December 12, 2018 - Researchers shed new light on how to combat Shiga and ricin toxins
December 12, 2018 - Pregnant Women Commonly Refuse Vaccines
December 12, 2018 - Drug treatment could offer new hope for some patients with brain bleeding
December 12, 2018 - Health care financial burden of animal-related injuries is growing, study says
December 12, 2018 - Macrophage cells could help repair the heart following a heart attack, study finds
December 12, 2018 - Researchers develop new system for efficiently producing human norovirus
December 12, 2018 - New artificial intelligence-based system to differentiate between different types of cancer cells
December 11, 2018 - Brazilian professors propose guidelines for therapeutic use of melatonin
December 11, 2018 - Healthy Lifestyle Lowers Odds of Breast Cancer’s Return
December 11, 2018 - New research identifies two genes linked to serious congenital heart condition
December 11, 2018 - NIH Director talks science, STEM careers with preteens
December 11, 2018 - Disabling a Cellular Antivirus System Could Improve Gene Therapy
December 11, 2018 - New tool swiftly provides accurate measure of patients’ cognitive difficulties
December 11, 2018 - NICE releases new guidelines for diagnosis and management of COPD
December 11, 2018 - Without Obamacare penalty, think it’ll be nice to drop your plan? Better think twice
December 11, 2018 - Researchers capture high-resolution X-ray and NMR image of key immune regulator
December 11, 2018 - Natural flavonoid is effective at treating leishmanisis infections, study shows
December 11, 2018 - Avoidant grievers unconsciously monitor and block mind-wandering contents, study shows
December 11, 2018 - Study identifies how hantaviruses infect lung cells
December 11, 2018 - Improving PTSD care through genetics
December 11, 2018 - Dermatology providers show interest in recommending cannabinoids to patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers to study effects of electroconvulsive therapy on Alzheimer’s patients with aggression
December 11, 2018 - Four dried fruits have lower glycemic index than starchy foods, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Optimization of drug dose sizes can reduce pharmaceutical wastage
December 11, 2018 - Ultrarestrictive opioid prescribing strategy linked with reduction in number of pills dispensed
Customizing Genetically Engineered Models for Specific Research Applications

Customizing Genetically Engineered Models for Specific Research Applications

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

An interview with Dr. Philip Dubé, discussing the importance of genetically modified models for understanding neurodegenerative diseases, conducted at SfN by Alina Shrourou, BSc.

What challenges do researchers face when developing drugs for the brain?

The first challenge is access to animal models. There are a lot of licensing issues when it comes to using animal models. Furthermore, the development of a very good mouse model does not mean that that is available for drug development.

© vchal/Shutterstock.com

Secondly, choosing the right type of model can be a challenge. A mouse model will recapitulate some aspects of a disease, but not all. The question then becomes how to choose the right one for your specific target of interest. There are limitations to some animal models, and every year new ones are being created. It can be a big challenge then to choose the appropriate model, stay up to date, and always be able to have access to the most cutting-edge model.

At Taconic Biosciences, we want to ensure that we have consistent quality of the animals that we produce, but we’re also looking to identify the next generation of models that will enable people to study specific therapeutic indications in greater detail and with greater fidelity of the human disease.

How do researchers identify which model is most suited to their research applications?

Let’s look at microbiome work as an example. The key thing that you need is a germ-free mouse, because a germ-free mouse is completely devoid of every single microorganism. That is the basic and essential tool for being able to study how microorganisms affect your physiology and your behavior, and it really impacts everything from infectious disease to neuro-biology.

We’re just beginning to understand the link between the microbiome and neuroscience, behavior, learning and development. Taconic is one of the largest and most long-standing providers of germ-free mice and we offer mice with custom microbiomes to meet our customers’ specific research requirements.

Please give an overview of the animal models that Taconic can provide.

Alongside our microbiome and neuroscience portfolio, we also focus a lot of our efforts on immune-oncology research.

Immuno-oncology is using the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Traditionally, when you’ve done these types of studies in animals, you’re taking a human tumor and putting it into an animal that doesn’t have an immune system. This is clearly a problem if you’re trying to study the immune system. Therefore with this in mind, we’ve generated a variety of different types of humanized mice, ranging from genetically humanized, to putting a human immune system in a mouse.

Additionally, we have a very strong inflammatory bowel disease portfolio. In some cases, there’s a lot of overlap between immuno-oncology and other inflammatory diseases. We have a number of models used vitally to support inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and colitis. We recently launched a brand new germ-free version of an IL-10 knockout mouse, which has applications for both microbiome and inflammatory bowel disease study.

What therapeutic areas can Taconic Biosciences’ Neuroscience Portfolio support?

We focus on neuro-degeneration in our Neuroscience portfolio, with our two main areas being Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Within both of those portfolios, we have a lot of the standard models that have been there for 15-20 years, but we also have brand new genetically engineered models.

We work with the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which allows us to use their resources to design and create what is going to be the next model to study Parkinson’s disease. We also have done some work in ALS, as well as some neurocognitive type disorders.  

How does Taconic develop these disease specific models?

Taconic has a custom model generation group called GEMs Design, based in Cologne, Germany. They’ve been the leaders in doing a lot of genetic engineering for the past 20 years. We create many new models specifically for customers, but occasionally we also will create a new model and decide to commercialize it. Sometimes we’ll make it for a specific company and then talk to them and suggest making it available to everyone.

What does Taconic Biosciences hope to provide to the scientific community by being at Neuroscience 2018?

We’re here, for one, to learn what people need. We’re a company that is highly customizable. When researchers say that they need a specific model, we’re going to use that to help guide the types of products that we offer. We’re here to learn from researchers and to help educate people on different types of Alzheimer’s models and neurodegenerative disease models that we can provide.

About Dr. Philip Dubé

Dr. Philip Dubé is Senior Manager, Global Application Science at Taconic Biosciences. He has 16+ years’ experience in rodent model use, completed research fellowships at Vanderbilt University and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and served as an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee member. Dr. Dubé holds a Ph.D. in physiology and an Honor’s B.Sc. in pharmacology from the University of Toronto.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles