Adjuvants for Vaccines

In the development of certain types of vaccine formulations, an adjuvant is usually required to enhance the immune response because the titer of neutralizing antibodies induced by the antigens alone is often relatively low. The MVSC has extensive experience in formulating adjuvant-containing vaccines using Alhydrogel, Adjuphos, and other adjuvants such as MPL analogues, CpG oligonucleotides, and emulsions

These studies usually include several approaches. First, to ensure control over the binding of antigens on the surface of the aluminum salt adjuvant, studies of binding isotherms and desorption experiments are performed under selected conditions. Further studies then assess the stability of the antigens upon biding to the adjuvant. Usually, front face fluorescence, differential scanning calorimetry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy are employed to examine changes in the physical stability of the antigens, while LC/MS and isoelectric focusing can be used to monitor changes in chemical integrity. Finally, the stability of the antigens is studied in the presence of both adjuvant and selected excipients to provide a complete stability profile of the formulated antigens.


  • Front face fluorescence
  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • LC/MS
  • Isoelectric focusing

Selected Publications

Hem, S. L., HogenEsch, H., Middaugh, C. R., and Volkin, D. B. (2010) Preformulation studies--The next advance in aluminum adjuvant-containing vaccines. Vaccine 28, 4868-70
PMID 20488265

Barrett, B. S., Markham, A. P., Esfandiary, R., Picking, W. L., Picking, W. D., Joshi, S. B., and Middaugh, C. R. (2010) Formulation and immunogenicity studies of type III secretion system needle antigens as vaccine candidates. J Pharm Sci 99, 4488-96
PMID 20845448

Markham, A. P., Barrett, B. S., Esfandiary, R., Picking, W. L., Picking, W. D., Joshi, S. B., and Middaugh, C. R. (2010) Formulation and immunogenicity of a potential multivalent type III secretion system-based protein vaccine. J Pharm Sci 99, 4497-509
PMID 20845449

Salnikova, M. S., Joshi, S. B., Rytting, J. H., Warny, M., and Middaugh, C. R. (2008) Preformulation studies of Clostridium difficile toxoids A and B. J Pharm Sci 97, 4194-207.
PMID 18228584