Numerous vaccine adjuvants are currently in development; however, the rational selection of adjuvants for specific vaccines is hindered by a lack of insights from formal side-by-side comparisons of adjuvants that include the creation of comprehensive immunological profiles. Systems immunology approaches have been used to integrate complex datasets and establish immune signatures induced by several vaccines, and such comprehensive immune profiles have revealed surrogates or correlates of vaccine-induced protection, accelerating vaccine research and providing a tool for the rational pairing of the respective adjuvants and vaccine antigens. However, these types of studies have been conducted with a limited number of adjuvants, using different assays and antigens, and thus making it impossible to compare adjuvant-induced immune profiles between studies.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently awarded three contracts as part of the Adjuvant Comparison and Characterization (ACC) program, to support side-by-side comparison of adjuvants in combination with clinically relevant vaccine/antigen platforms and to establish both systemic and tissue-specific immunological profiles (“immune fingerprints”) of adjuvants that work through different mechanisms and have potential for a given antigen and/or disease target. Data generated through the ACC program will enable the rational selection of adjuvants and the future development of more effective vaccines against infectious diseases and/or new vaccines to treat allergic or autoimmune diseases.
- Duke University, led by Dr. Herman Staats, will compare TLR ligands in a peanut allergy mouse model
- Stanford University, led by Dr. Bali Pulendran, will compare TLR ligands formulated in squalene or alum in human and non-human primate SARS-CoV-2 models
- University of California Irvine, led by Dr. Phillip Felgner, will compare NOD, STING, and TLR agonists in mouse models of Chlamydia muridarum, Coxiella burnetii, and Influenza
In addition, at the discretion of NIAID, contractors in the ACC program may be leveraged to compare adjuvants in HIV and cancer models.
Data and computational tools/models generated through the ACC program must adhere to the following:
- Compatible with existing public data repositories (e.g., ImmPort) to facilitate public dissemination of the immunologic data and computational tools
- Publicly available through ImmPort and the NIAID Vaccine Adjuvant Compendium
Main Areas of Focus
NIAID initiated the ACC program to
- Support side-by-side comparison of adjuvants in combination with clinically relevant vaccine/antigen platforms
- Establish both systemic and tissue-specific immunological profiles (“immune fingerprints”) of adjuvants that work through different mechanisms and have potential for a given antigen and/or disease target
- Share both positive and negative results through the VAC to help guide basic research and vaccine development activities within the program and across the broader scientific community
Find out more about this contract on the sam.gov website.