Research utilizing new rodent models of human disease is evolving at an incredible pace. How you obtain these models is an important consideration for your research, experimental reproducibility and scientific conclusions.
Using genetically engineered rodents as models of human disease, have transformed scientific research. Properly designed and validated, they can provide accurate study data, decrease the number of animals used and reduce study costs. Those working with mutant and transgenic mouse models often fall into two categories, academic research institutions looking to decipher the mammalian genome to understand how a specific gene functions and global pharma and biotech companies utilizing models such as knockout mice, in order to validate new drugs and treatments.
Research employing these models continues to evolve at an incredible pace. How you obtain and maintain them is important because many factors can impact experimental reproducibility and scientific conclusions. The quickest method is to purchase them from a repository or obtain them from a collaborating lab. However, one must consider if these models are an exact fit for your research needs. What is their health status? Could their genetic integrity have been compromised? Could they be carrying the wrong genes?
Many institutions have set up internal transgenic cores for generating new mouse models. However, they can sometimes be impacted by health status or capacity issues, which can influence project timelines. In addition, institutions may lack the expertise required for specific projects. CRISPR-Cas9 technology has accelerated the creation of knockout mice and other mutant animals. It not only reduces timelines but also allows for flexibility to work with other species such as the rat model, which may be a better fit for certain studies.
But is CRISPR always the best choice? To answer this question, you should consider how complex the gene modification is. How to detect unexpected CRISPR off and on target effects. For commercial organizations, issues with IP and licensing may result in serious financial ramifications. An effective way to obtain your knockout, knockin or transgenic mice is to work with a qualified external vendor.
You'll receive advice from experienced scientific teams, utilizing a variety of techniques, strict adherence to project timelines, access to and advice on CRISPR licensing with ownership of intellectual property, a high health status with breeding under VAF+ or SOPF standards and a high degree of model validation and analysis to ensure your new model generates consistent study data.
Charles River's model creation services provide an optimal environment for generating, characterizing, preserving and distributing your transgenic lines. Our full service portfolio includes custom breeding, embryology services, genetic testing, drug discovery and safety assessment services. With vast experience in the drug development life cycle, you'll have a trusted partner to get you from concept to clinic. Learn how we can help by talking to someone from our scientific team today.