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Vaccine adjuvants 1
Published on June 30, 2015 30 min
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I'm Derek O'Hagan. I work for GSK Vaccines. I research in Cambridge. I'm going to be talking about vaccine adjuvants. Although I'm an employee of GSK Vaccines, the presentation I'm going to make really reflects my experience across a number of companies, and it doesn't really express the policy of GSK.
So in trying to define vaccine adjuvants and what they are, it's not an easy task to accomplish. Essentially, they are defined by what they do. They enhance the immune response to a vaccine antigen. So since there's no clear definition, there are many, many diverse substances in the literature that have been described as vaccine adjuvants, particularly in a pre-clinical setting. If we try to understand a little better those that have progressed to clinical trials, we can get a better appreciation of some of the materials, because a smaller percentage of advanced trials. And even a very small percentage of these have eventually been included in licensed vaccines. And these are the adjuvants I'm mostly going to focus on for obvious reasons. It's a very diverse area. There many materials, but I'm going to focus on those that have been most advanced.
Moving on, it's perhaps good to see which vaccines actually need adjuvants. So some vaccines do need them and some vaccines really do not. So for example, a live attenuated vaccine that's able to replicate once it's administered generally does not need an adjuvant. And it's able to introduce, inherently, a broad range of immune responses, both T cells, CD4, CD8s, and antibodies. Also killed whole bacterial or viral vaccines often do not need adjuvants. Essentially they contain many components that are inherently immunostimulatory. So often they do not need adjuvants. Where adjuvants really become necessary and key components of vaccines are recombinant subunits. So protein based vaccines, which tend to be inherently not particularly potent, and so really do need adjuvants to induce potent, long-term immune responses that can then mediate protective immunity. And subunit vaccines tend to induce antibody responses and CD4 T cells.