Adjuvant Discovery Program

The Adjuvant Discovery Program works to identify novel adjuvant candidates that can augment the efficacy of human vaccines.

Data generated from supported studies are made publicly available through the Vaccine Adjuvant Compendium (VAC), enabling 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. These adjuvants will contribute to the pipeline of new adjuvants that do the following:

  • Exploit the natural capacity of the innate immune system to initiate and sustain effective T-and B-cell responses and to induce long term immune memory
  • Act directly on cells of the adaptive immune system to enhance their response to pathogen-derived antigens or suppress the response to self-antigens or allergens

Main Areas of Focus

  • Screening for new types of immunostimulators (medium to high-throughput screening, in silico screening)
  • Structure-activity-relationship (SAR) studies to further improve adjuvanticity
  • Mechanism-of-action studies
  • Preclinical (proof-of-principle) studies to establish in vivo adjuvanticity of novel adjuvants with a vaccine


NIAID uses both the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) and Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program solicitation PHS-2024-1 contract mechanism to support adjuvant discovery projects. The BAA program renews every 5 years; the SBIR program is re-issued annually.

Contact Information

Wolfgang Leitner


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