Taconic Biosciences Expands Immuno-oncology Animal Model Portfolio

RENSSELAER, N.Y., Jan. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Taconic Biosciences, a global leader in providing drug discovery animal model solutions, announces an expansion of its immuno–oncology portfolio.

Immuno–oncology is a leading research priority because it uses the body's own immune system to effectively treat some types of cancer. Syngeneic tumor animal models play a critical role because they use standard inbred mice that have a competent immune system, which is required to evaluate immune–modulating therapies. These models are engrafted with mouse tumors derived from the same strain background; this genetic similarity between tumor and host prevents the host from rejecting the tumor.

One consideration in using syngeneic models is that some drug candidates can cause a negative immune response not seen in humans. Standard mice may develop anti–drug antibodies (ADA), which can neutralize the therapeutic or even trigger anaphylaxis. This can prevent researchers from determining therapeutic efficacy in a preclinical study.

Taconic's Jh mouse, which lacks B cells but retains other immune cell types, such as T cells important for evaluation of immunotherapies, is widely used to overcome this problem. Because the Jh mouse cannot produce ADA, there is no neutralizing or pharmacokinetic impact on the therapeutic or anaphylaxis risk. Taconic's Jh mouse was previously only available on the BALB/c background, so it was applicable to only a portion of syngeneic tumor studies. The new Jh mouse on the C57BL/6 background expands utility to cover most studies.

"Taconic is committed to both generating key immuno–oncology mouse models and facilitating access to them for drug discovery," shared Dr. Michael Seiler, vice president of commercial models at Taconic. “The Jh mouse is available globally to both non–profit and for–profit researchers, including contract research organizations."

Cohorts of both the C57BL/6 and BALB/c versions of the Jh mouse are available for immediate delivery.

The Jh models are just one aspect of Taconic's immuno–oncology portfolio, which includes humanized mice built on the immunodeficient CIEA NOG mouse plus custom model generation and colony management solutions.

To learn more about Jh mice, please contact Taconic at 1–888–TACONIC (888–822–6642) in the US, +45 70 23 04 05 in Europe, or email info@taconic.com.

About Taconic Biosciences, Inc.

Taconic Biosciences is a fully–licensed, global leader in genetically engineered rodent models and services. Founded in 1952, Taconic provides the best animal solutions so that customers can acquire, custom–generate, breed, precondition, test, and distribute valuable research models worldwide. Specialists in genetically engineered mouse and rat models, microbiome, immuno–oncology mouse models, and integrated model design and breeding services, Taconic operates three service laboratories and six breeding facilities in the U.S. and Europe, maintains distributor relationships in Asia and has global shipping capabilities to provide animal models almost anywhere in the world.

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Punch Like A Muslim Woman: An Egyptian-Danish Boxer Breaking Many Stereotypes

Nadia Helmy Ahmed

By Sania Farooqui
NEW DELHI, India, Jan 18 2021 – As a Muslim woman born and brought up in Denmark, Nadia Helmy Ahmed broke many stereotypes when she started boxing at the age of 15. “Back then it was not common for girls to take up elite boxing, let alone common for Muslim girls, I used to be the only girl in my gym, along with ten others boys,” said Nadia to IPS News.

Elite boxing is defined by who the boxers fight, how they fight and how they handle top ranked competition on a consistent basis. Nadia has been an elite boxer for over 15 years, and is one of the only ten Danish women in the sport, representing Denmark in world championships.

“Being a girl in a male dominated sport means that you have to learn to deal with all the obstacles that come with it, sometimes you are treated differently, both from inside the community of the sport and outside from the Muslim community as well. Sometimes the tone in the gym can be a bit harsh, but I quickly learnt to turn that direct language into positive fuel.

“Boxing happened by chance in my life and I fell in love with the sport and it has stayed on with me. I am lucky to say my family has always been very supportive, and that’s why I have been able to pursue my passion,” said Nadia.

As a boxer, Nadia continues to challenge various gender stereotypes and cultural discourses. Nadia says, “by living my life the way that I have chosen to live, I have challenged many norms and expectations of what a Muslim woman should look like, what she should do, what her goals and ambitions should be. I have chosen another way for myself, a different path and I feel at home when I am training.”

Nadia is part Egyptian and part Danish and she says she no longer wants to be caught between the discourse of identity and nationality, between her parents’ countries of origin, and her own country of residence.

Denmark is home to almost 320,000 Muslims, which is about 5.5 percent of the population, putting the country in a slightly higher proportion than in the rest of Europe. According to a report published in Reuters, a growing number of Danish Muslims say that they have faced verbal abuse, exclusion and hate crimes since mainstream political parties began adopting anti-immigrant policies. Immigration in Denmark has become a strong issue especially during elections.

In December 2020, Denmark’s government decided to separately classify people from or with heritage in primarily Muslim countries and regions in their official crime statistics. A move which was deeply criticized by many. Immigration and integration minister Mattias Tesfaye supported the differentiation of people in Denmark with Middle Eastern and North African heritage.

“Pluralism is based on trust, and the recognition between people, whether they want it or not, said Nadia. Religion plays an important role in cultural encounters, partly because it highlights differences and opens up new understandings of plurality and community. We as Muslim women have to use our understanding of liberal European politics to protest against the exclusion of immigrants from the public sphere.

“I crave to find a stance of cultural dignity, to find a moral community of mutual acceptance and purpose. The crucial issue for us has been to achieve a status in which is is legitimate and acceptable to be both Muslim woman and Danish at the same time,” said Nadia.

Over the past few years, Nadia has taken her passion for boxing to Muslim girls in local communities living in Braband in Gellerup, an area of western Aarhus, which holds the biggest housing associations in Denmark. Nadia encourages women to empower themselves by teaching them how to tap in and use their physical and mental strengths.

“When I started coaching young girls from the community, I wanted to transfer my passion for boxing to them. My mission was to enable them, to empower them, to give them a space where they could be themselves, at the same time have fun using their bodies to do so”, said Nadia.

“Boxing is a way of life. The combination of the mind and the body in sports gives a smaller picture of life in itself. When you think you can’t give anymore, there is always a little more to give in sports. Without individual strength and power, it is impossible to fight for your rights, for a better society,” said Nadia.

Integration remains a debate and challenge for those who come to Denmark, especially from Muslim countries. Human Rights organizations have reported numerous violations against refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers and have often described Danish policies towards immigrants as some of the most aggressive in the western world. In the current climate where European countries have been opening their doors towards immigrants and refugees, it is important for Denmark to re-think it’s value-based policies which has become one of the biggest reasons for countries’ polarizations especially towards its immigrants, religion, identity and culture.

According to Nadia, the way forward for Denmark is to identify the challenge of integration, without politicization, and interpret differences and similarities in real contexts, defining common goals and interests.

Sania Farooqui is a journalist and filmmaker based out of New Delhi. She hosts a weekly online show called The Sania Farooqui Show where Muslim women from around the world are invited to share their views.


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‘Please save us’

Stuck in Bosnia amid rough winter, Bangladeshi migrant pleads for help

By External Source
Jan 18 2021 (IPS-Partners)

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