Ozgene – Custom mouse model FAQ
- Request a free quote.
- Ozgene offers customised mouse model generation where the pricing is determined by the complexity of the project, the materials provided by the customer and the desired deliverables.
- We will provide an obligation free project design and proposal based on your specific requirements free of charge.
- Ozgene’s current average time for new mouse model completion is 29 weeks.
- Our fastest gene targeted mouse models have been generated in 20 weeks from project design to heterozygous targeted F1 mice.
- Please see our timelines for more information.
Ozgene is continuously improving project timelines by stabilising, standardising and refining each individual process using Lean management. Our proprietary goGermline™ technology is one of these process refinements, enabling us to generate your mice with the fastest, most efficient timelines possible, while significantly improving animal welfare.
- We have no project queues.
- Ozgene’s highly efficient project pipeline allows us to start projects without lengthy waiting periods.
- Your project will start as soon as Ozgene receives a signed contract and a purchase order.
- Get starting by requesting a free quote!
- Ozgene generates mouse models via gene targeting in ES cells using our proprietary goGermline™ technology, which vastly improves the 3R efficiencies and the timeline for development of gene targeted mouse models.
- We also use various technologies to validate and phenotype your mouse lines e.g. RT-qPCR, Western Blot, ELISA and flow cytometry.
- Ozgene also offers a service called OzBIG for robust creation of large, gene-targeted replacement models. This system enables routine generation of mouse models with very large (20 to 240 kb) genomic replacements.
Ozgene does not currently apply CRISPR-based genome editing for the following factors:
- First experimental cohorts can be generated faster with goGermline™ gene targeting than with CRISPR.
- Mosaicism of the founder animals is expected with CRISPR and requires specific genotyping and breeding strategies of founders and/or their offspring to select animals that harbour the desired alleles.
- CRISPR methodology introduces the risk of CRISPR-mediated off-target effects could lead to unpredictable phenotypes and research results.
- Gene targeting methodology, in contrast, does not introduce the risk of off target effects.
COMPROMISED ANIMAL WELFARE
- With CRISPR a large number of founder mice is usually required, compromising 3Rs.
- CRISPR-based mouse models always require generation and characterisation of multiple individual F1 offspring to determine if the desired genomic modification has been established or not – resulting in a significant percentage of project restarts.
- Genetic modification by gene targeting in ES cells, on the other hand, ensures the correct modification at each progressive step of the process – resulting in no project restarts.
Ozgene offers a full spectrum of breeding options to:
- Breed your Ozgene-generated genetically engineered mouse line
- Import and breed an existing mouse line
- Expand a colony to provide breeding cohorts or experimental cohorts
- Cross-breed to other lines: Flp, Cre and others
- Breed your mice at Ozgene Australia or Ozgene USA
Ozgene offers gene targeting on the following backgrounds:
- Less common strains as required
Yes – although we prefer to provide a full service from project design to heterozygous targeted F1 mice, so that we can apply our QC throughout the project and ensure targeting in ES cells and germline transmission in mice.
In our experience, we find it can be challenging to assist you with any potential issues with partial materials if we do not have control over the procedures in your laboratory and Vivarium.
If a full mouse model generation service is not an option for you, we can offer the following partial services:
- Generation of a gene targeting vector
- Generation of a targeted ES cells from an Ozgene vector or customer vector
- Generation of a gene targeted mouse line from customer or repository ES cells using goGermline™
- Breeding of experimental cohorts from Ozgene or other mouse models
- Validation and phenotyping of Ozgene or other mouse models
Ozgene’s off-the-shelf models are currently limited to those being used in-house:
- OzFlp – ubiquitously expressing Flp line
- OzCre – ubiquitously expressing Cre line
- OzCreERT2 – tamoxifen inducible Cre line
We generate genetically engineered humanised models where the human gene replaces the mouse gene, for example
- humanising point mutations,
- humanising domains, such as extracellular domains,
- humanising the entire gene,
- humanising multi-gene loci.
We recommend the OzBIG technology for large genomic humanisations (20-240 kb).
No, it does not.
- goGermline embryos are engineered to be spermatogenesis deficient. Therefore, all fertile male chimeras are germline heterozygous and exclusively transmit the ES cell genome. There is no offspring from the host embryo.
- The modification in the goGermline host embryos is cellularly and genetically separate from the cells and genetics of the F1 offspring.
- Ozgene offers strictly fee for service.
- For customised mouse model projects your intellectual property (IP) and materials generated for your project belong to you.
- Ozgene does not have ownership over any client IP, targeting vectors, ES cells or mouse models, and will not resell any project materials or mouse lines to third parties.
- This also means that you do not need Ozgene licencing to use your mouse model.
Ozgene ARC – Stock strain FAQ
- Credit card is the preferred payment method.
- If you are unable to pay by credit card, you can also request to activate the PO option by emailing email@example.com. After activation, the portal will require you to upload a PDF of the PO when you submit your order.
- Each registration requires an email address and mobile number.
- A code sent to the mobile phone is used for authentication at login.
- For now, the easiest option is to have a single person login and place the orders.
- We are investigating other authentication methods to allow multiple users to log into the same account.
- When you place your order, our system will calculate the shipping costs based on your location and the number of required shippers and compartments.
- Please note that males from different litters or different original cages will need to be separated, which often means that sending males requires more shippers than females. This is to improve animal welfare, minimise stress and reduce fighting during transit.
- To reduce the shipping cost per animal, you may include additional animals of a different strain, age or sex in the same order. Just remember to select the same shipping address and date.
- The portal will display the final shipping cost at checkout.
- Ozgene ARC is a newly created entity.
- Accounts from the ARC will not automatically transfer to Ozgene ARC.
- Please create a new account on the ordering portal.
- If your purchasing department needs to set Ozgene ARC up as a new vendor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the required documentation.
- Currently you are only able to order animals that have been weaned.
- Mice are weaned at ~22 days to determine their sex.
- The youngest mice you can order are 3-4 weeks.
- There is a 1-week ordering window for 4-week-old mice, 2-week ordering window for 5-week-old mice, and so on.
- The oldest mice available on the portal are 12 weeks, and they can be ordered up to 9 weeks in advance.
- We are working on functionality to enable you to place orders earlier by accessing estimated mouse numbers prior to weaning.
- SMS verification serves as a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on the ordering portal and can’t be inactivated.
- MFA adds an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorised access to your account.
- We are investigating other MFA options to allow group accounts on the ordering portal.
- Our ordering portal updates at 12 pm and 4 pm AWST each day, displaying the newly weaned animals that have become available. We hope that being aware of these times will minimise the need to check the portal several times a day for available animals. Once our stock levels are sufficient, we will transition the portal to update in real-time as weaning is carried out in our Vivarium.
- You can request a deviated septum check for female mice using a dropdown field while placing your order on the portal. For any other requests, kindly email email@example.com and provide your order number as reference. Please avoid entering requests in the “Researcher/PI” or “Customer Reference Number” fields, as these are exclusively used for invoicing and shipping label information. Please be aware that although we will make efforts to fulfil your request, there might be certain limitations to what we can accommodate.
- Ozgene ARC will postpone animal air shipments if ground temperatures seriously risk animal welfare and will strive to promptly alert impacted customers.
- At 9:00 AM Perth time one business day prior to dispatch, if the predicted 10:00 PM Perth Airport temperature is greater than or equal to 29°C on dispatch date, interstate shipments will be rescheduled to the next suitable day. 10 PM has been selected as the animals are loaded onto flights between 10–10.30 PM.
- Likewise, if the predicted temperature at 9:00 AM at the destination or connecting airport is greater than or equal to 29°C, then shipments will be postponed to the given airport or destination until the next suitable day.
- Ozgene ARC uses weatherzone (https://www.weatherzone.com.au/) to check hourly weather forecasts:
- If customers are concerned about high temperatures, they can request a delay in delivery on the day of despatch if Ozgene ARC is informed before 9.00 AM AWST.
- See full shipper and transport guidelines here
- Ozgene ARC uses the same shippers for domestic shipments as those utilised by the Animal Resources Centre, specifically small (425 x 320 x 150 mm) and large (591 x 370 x 210 mm) corflute shippers from Able Scientific. The only exception is for K18-hACE2 mice, which are transported in rigid plastic shippers due to additional guidelines aimed at preventing human infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- We are planning to improve the quality of shippers in 2024 by transitioning to JAX shippers (454 x 296 x 190 mm), made of PP5 moulded plastic and featuring a clip-on lid with an inside flap for accessing compartments. These shippers not only enhance animal welfare but also streamline the process for Vivarium staff when packing animals.
- The shipper stocking density conforms to the IATA Live Animal Regulations and is utilised in our AAALAC-approved facility in the USA. The ARC also followed IATA Regulations for their shipments.
- Mice ~ A small shipper can accommodate a total of 16 mice, either in one compartment or divided into two compartments, with a maximum of 8 mice per compartment. A large shipper is generally used for larger shipments without dividers and can accommodate up to 32 mice.
- Rats ~ Rats are exclusively transported in large shippers. Since rat weights vary considerably with age, there is a sliding scale for packing rats in a shipper based on their estimated weight at that age. For example, for 4-week-old rats, a maximum of 8 male or 8 female rats per shipper is allowed, while for 12-week-old rats, a maximum of 2 male or 3 female rats per shipper is permitted.
- Males/Females ~ Females can be shipped together, however, males from different litters or different original cages need to be separated. This often results in the need for more shippers when shipping males. This approach is taken to improve animal welfare, minimise stress, and reduce fighting during transit.
Animals undergo a health and welfare check prior to shipment. Our protocols and procedures are based on Ozgene’s AAALAC-approved facility in the USA. A healthy mouse will not exhibit any of the following:
- Weight loss / poor body condition
- Lethargic, reluctance to move
- Dull or ungroomed coat
- Frequent scratching and areas of hair loss
- Skin abrasions or reddening of skin
- Hydrocephalus – swollen head (hydro)
- Ulcerations or wounds
- Raspy or rapid breathing
- Coughing or chattering
- Nasal discharge
- Liquid, soft or poorly formed stool
- Tucked up abdomen and hunched posture
- Distended abdomen
- Lumps and bumps
- Squinting, eye discharge or clouding of eye
- Unusual or wounded genitalia (vaginal septum checks are only performed on request)
- Malocclusion (overgrown teeth)
- Since mice and rats are social animals, shipping them individually should be avoided. Shipping them in groups helps reduce stress and anxiety during transit, as well as aids in temperature regulation in colder conditions. The shipment of individual animals is reserved for special circumstances, such as ex-breeder males, and is carried out in consultation with the customer.
- The initial Ozgene ARC algorithm automatically assigned animals from cages with the fewest animals to maximise efficiency in emptying cages. However, because males from different original cages were separated during shipment, this could result in singly shipped males being delivered to the customer. We are pleased to report that our algorithm for allocating mice to shippers was updated in September 2023, and mice are now allocated from cages that match the required number of animals. This has minimised the likelihood of singly shipped animals being sent to the customer.
Our sentinel program adheres to the standards set by the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA). Live animals are sent to an external testing laboratory, Cerberus Sciences, to test for specific pathogens quarterly or annually. Please see our health reports for more information.
Ozgene ARC stock strains are housed in separate areas to maintain distinct bio-security statuses. The staff are subject to movement restrictions based on the health status of the areas. The immunocompromised mouse and rat area Oz1 requires a 60-hour exclusion period from mouse areas Oz2, Oz3, and Oz5, and all areas must observe a 60-hour exclusion period from the rat area Oz4.
Ozgene ARC holds a license to supply animals for scientific purposes from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) in WA. Additionally, we have plans to seek AAALAC accreditation following our relocation to Technology Park in 2024.
The feed consists of <a href=”https://www.specialtyfeeds.com/diets/irradiated-rat-and-mouse-cubes/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Irradiated Rat and Mouse Cubes supplied by Specialty Feeds</a>. The vacuum-sealed bags are inspected for breach of vacuum by immersion in Virkon upon being taken into the animal facility. The facility uses chlorinated RO water. Chlorine levels are measured and recorded daily. Food entry procedures and water system are based on Ozgene’s AAALAC-approved facility in the USA.