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A Vital Adjuvant Ingredient - A Precious Natural Resource

The "secret sauce" of the malaria vaccine that is finally being administered in Africa, where the burden of disease is greatest - QS-21, derived from oil extracted from a rare Chilean Soapbark tree, Quillaja Saponaria, threatening long-term supply of the vaccine.


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AAHI’s adjuvant formulation is key component of new shingles vaccine candidate, Amezosvatein, that compares well to GSK’s Shingrix® with minimal side effects.

Curevo Vaccines has announced that their shingles vaccine, Amezosvatein, which incorporates AAHI’s proprietary immune-stimulating adjuvant formulation SLA-SE, performed just as well as GSK’s Shingrix® in Phase 2 clinical trials. Shingrix® is a blockbuster vaccine that uses GSK’s AS01B adjuvant formulation to boost immune responses for robust protection (>90%) against shingles in people 50 years and older. But the two-dose Shingrix® vaccine carries quite a punch –side effects including fatigue, muscle pain, shivering, nausea, and severe headaches are common and considered “serious” in close to 20% of people who receive the vaccine. Curevo’s Amezosvatein, adjuvanted with AAHI’s SLA-SE formulation, seeks to deliver equally robust protection, but without the undesirable side effects and was reported to have no serious side effects in a large Phase 2 trial. 

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By Elie Dolgin


Japan’s approval of the first self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) vaccine against COVID-19, ARCT-154, marks a significant leap in vaccine technology. Currently approved RNA vaccines in the United States are based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, but saRNA technology provides numerous potential advantages. Because saRNA vaccines stimulate the immune system in distinct ways, they may provide broader and more durable protection than currently available mRNA vaccines and enable lower dosages. In turn, this may result in fewer side effects and increased availability.

AAHI’s CEO, Dr. Corey Casper, believes in the tremendous potential of saRNA and cites this recent milestone as assurance of the viability of saRNA platform technology not just for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, but for potential applications for cancer immunotherapy. He tells Elie Dolgin at Nature Portfolio that “this will hopefully begin to put a nail in the coffin of the idea that self-amplifying RNA is not a viable platform.”


By Rita Rubin, MA


Vaccine researchers are on a mission to protect against and prevent transmission of respiratory infectious diseases that spread via droplets breathed out by an infected person. They are focusing on the viral entry point – the nose or mouth – and seeking to protect and prevent by inducing mucosal immune responses.

“Millions of lives have been saved with the current vaccines we have against COVID-19 and influenza,” says Dr. Corey Casper, AAHI’s CEO, “but these vaccines do a poor job at preventing transmission of respiratory viruses from person to person. The result is that respiratory viruses take a toll on society in missed days from work or school, disruptions in our ability to gather and socialize, and place vulnerable patients with weak immune systems who respond poorly to vaccines at risk. AAHI’s technology is enabling next-generation vaccines that can be administered to the nose or lungs and in early studies appear to prevent transmission of respiratory viruses and will be moving to human trials later this year.”

 The government is committed to evaluating new routes of administering vaccines, including intranasal and respiratory administration, and has launched a COVID-19 focused Project NextGen Initiative to support testing such vaccine candidates in human clinical trials. Breathing in a vaccine may have the added bonus of increasing vaccine uptake (many dislike needles) and reducing burden on trained healthcare workers (required to administer shots).


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On the morning of Thursday, April 4th, AAHI will be joined by public and private collaborators to discuss a proposal for addressing the critical need to establish consistent and reliable vaccine development to support readiness to meet the next infectious disease threat.

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The Director of Research Administration will be responsible for managing pre-award and post-award activities for AAHI's sponsored research awards, working across the organization to provide support developing, submitting, and tracking new funding opportunities.

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Synthetic TLR4 ligand in squalene nanoemulsion

Synthetic TLR4 ligand in QS- 21 containing liposome

Synthetic TLR4 ligand in aqueous formulation

Dual agonist containing both TLR4 and TLR7/8 ligands

2nd-Gen synthetic TLR4 ligand
in squalene nanoemulsion

2nd-Gen synthetic TLR4 ligand
in QS-21 containing liposome

2nd-Gen synthetic TLR4 ligand
in aqueous formulation

Alum nanoparticle formulation, customized particle size

Synthetic TLR7/8 ligand in
squalene nanoemulsion

Synthetic TLR7/8 ligand
adsorbed to aluminum

Synthetic TLR7/8 ligand in
aqueous formulation

Nanostructured lipid carrier

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