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GEN News Highlights : Jan 31, 2014

PsychoGenics Snares Tauopathy Mouse from Mayo Clinic, TET Systems

PsychoGenics, a firm focused on in vivo phenotypic drug discovery, today picked up licenses to the rTg4510 tauopathy mouse from Mayo Clinic and German Tet technology developers TET Systems. PsychoGenics says the agreement will allow it to offer behavioral and nonbehavioral testing in the rTg4510 mouse model to its customers to aid in discovering new treatments for tau-associated neurodegenerative diseases.

The rTg4510 mouse—developed by Karen K. Hsiao Ashe, M.D., Ph.D., Jada Lewis, Ph.D., and Michael Hutton, Ph.D.—expresses the P301L mutation in the tau gene associated with frontotemporal dementia and Parkinsonism. The end result: The mice exhibit hereditary human dementia characteristics as they age including cognitive impairment, motor deficits, neuronal loss in the forebrain, and the presence of neurofibrillary tangles. The tetracycline-operon responsive element, licensed from TET Systems, induces transgene expression in this model; the expression of this transgene can be reversibly suppressed after treatment with doxycycline. 

"This rTg4510 mouse model has been extensively characterized by PsychoGenics and many other labs and we are delighted to be able to offer it to our clients to help identify treatments for Tau related disorders," PsychoGenics' president and CEO Emer Leahy, Ph.D., said in a statement.

These aren't the only mice PsychoGenics has trapped recently: Back in August, the company picked up an exclusive license to University of South Florida's APP/PS1 double transgenic mice, which can be used in Alzheimer's drug discovery.