If there’s one company that doesn’t hate meeses to pieces, it’s Taconic, who have entered an exclusive marketing and distribution agreement to provide access to Yecuris’ FRG™ KO animal portfolio, one that allows Taconic to promote and sell FRG™ primary cell xenograft animal models and HepaCur™ human primary hepatocytes developed by Yecuris for use in in vivo and in vitro applications. The companies believe the combined marketing of both genetically and tissue humanized mouse models by Taconic could provide seamless access to a large portfolio of translational mouse models, in vitro tools, and related services.

Humanized animal models have been developed through genetic modification to provide specific attributes that are genetically human. Taconic says their tADMET™ portfolio contains a collection of genetically humanized mouse models for genes involved in drug metabolism and disposition and allows for improved predictions of drug responses in humans. Yecuris technologies, according to the firm, have been used to generate animals that allow the engraftment of human primary cells, specifically liver and immune, that replaces the native animal organ systems. The modified animals have a range of human attributes passed on from the human cells including human metabolism and toxicity profiles, and the ability to become infected with human pathogens and viruses like malaria and hepatitis.

“Taconic and Yecuris are coming together to provide the knowledge and materials necessary for scientists to increase human relevance in their drug and vaccine research by using models that contain human primary cells,” said John Bial, president and CEO of Yecuris. “Distribution of the animals and the education to use them is a critical step in the maturation of this field, which has been hindered by a lack of access. The combination of the two companies’ portfolios of technologies represents a significant advance in the mainstreaming of these next-generation models, and provides some insight into the future direction of scientific advances.”

Taconic, who has been in the mouse model business since 1952, are also spreading transgenic mice throughout India through a distribution agreement made earlier this month with Vivo Bio Tech, who gained rights to breed and distribute select Taconic mouse and rat models there. Also, in November, the Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA) granted rights for Taconic to produce and distribute the BRG mouse. The BRG mouse, which stands for BALB/c Rag2 Il2rg, is a super immunodeficient mouse developed by CIEA scientists that can be used for research on humanization, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and in xenograft assays.

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