NIH Seeks to Improve Vaccine Response with New Adjuvants

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NIH seeks new therapeutic products to bolster the protective properties of vaccines.

In an effort to improve vaccine effectiveness, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases branch of the National Institutes of Health announced they have awarded seven new research contracts. The agency’s goal is to uncover and characterize new adjuvants that will trigger the body’s natural adaptive immunity.

The three immunological agents that are currently used in vaccines­­—alum, AS04, and AS03—were discovered with the help of adjuvant discovery contracts from 2003 and 2009. With this new round of awards, and approximately $70 million in funding over the next five years, NIH hopes to spur innovation in the adjuvant pipeline.

The first of the three research phases will consist of a computer-based molecule discovery model. The second and third stages will then include an investigation into the adjuvant immune method of action and an animal model, respectively. The research contracts support NIH’s strategic approach to enhance immunogenicity while minimizing reactogenicity by isolating potential adjuvant targets of value.