PATH to facilitate global access to new, advanced vaccine adjuvants

May 16, 2012 by PATH

Amy Wales, PATH, +1.206.302.4689,

Seattle, May 16, 2012—PATH has launched an innovative project to facilitate global access to new adjuvants and formulation technologies, aiming to accelerate the development and introduction of critical, lifesaving vaccines.

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in collaboration with key technology partners including the Vaccine Formulation Laboratory at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) in Switzerland, the project will focus on providing industry-quality adjuvants and developing adjuvant-vaccine formulations that enhance immune response, reduce dose requirements, and decrease vaccine costs.

Compared to aluminum salts, also known as alum, which is the primary adjuvant presently used in vaccines worldwide, many new adjuvants—when properly formulated—can help to augment the breadth and magnitude of the protective immune response to vaccines. Adjuvant-vaccine formulations are especially important for newer vaccines that are made of highly purified antigens, which tend to be less immunogenic. By enhancing the protective immune response, adjuvants have the potential to reduce the dose required for vaccination and thereby the cost of vaccine. Yet, access to industry-quality adjuvants and the relevant formulation technologies by developing-country vaccine manufacturers and vaccine development programs is often constrained by the lack of licenses to relevant intellectual property.

Under the project, PATH and partners will focus on evaluating novel adjuvants for potential use in the development of an effective and affordable adjuvanted formulation of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). In collaboration with UNIL and other Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation–funded research teams, PATH will also work to develop multiple formulations of IPV with other adjuvants. A later phase of the project may involve the development of adjuvanted formulations for vaccines against malaria, rotavirus, AIDS, or tuberculosis. Throughout, PATH will work to foster synergies and strategic partnerships that facilitate the development and advancement of future formulations through efforts that might involve securing access to advanced industry-quality adjuvants and the transfer of technology, data, and expertise among adjuvant developers, product-development partnerships, vaccine producers, and other stakeholders.

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