The science of vaccine adjuvants

Published on October 31, 2023   36 min

Other Talks in the Series: Vaccines

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Hi, my name is Derek O'Hagan. I'm a senior advisor and senior fellow in GSK. I'm going to talk about vaccine adjuvants. I'm really going to dive into the science behind vaccine adjuvants, tell you about the approaches we have that are established, and also highlight some of the new approaches that will be emerging in the near future.
It's probably important to start off with a basic understanding of what a vaccine adjuvant is. This slide tries to illustrate that. Essentially, it's got a theoretical vaccine in blue with no vaccine adjuvant, and then the vaccine adjuvant added in orange. In essence, the adjuvant is there to enhance immune responses to co-administer antigens which are typically recombinant or sub unit approaches, or that could be whole viruses, kill viruses. It can manifest with a more rapid response, a stronger, broader response, or an extended duration of response, or more of those in combination. In essence, the vaccine adjuvant is there to enhance the immune response to the vaccine antigen.
Vaccine adjuvants are not a new concept. Essentially, they've been around for almost 100 years. If you look at the bottom of this slide, you see the established insoluble aluminium salts have been utilized in combination vaccines, which are still utilized in the routine children vaccines, DT, TT, pertussis etc. They've been around for a long time, shown to be safe and effective, but new approaches have only emerged relatively recently on the time line. It was really MF59 which is an oil and water emulsion which changed things at the end of the 20th century. Then you see in orange the adjuvant system approach of GSK, AS03, AS04, etc, which have also emerged now. I'll talk a little bit more about them.