Research ArticleADJUVANTS

Rational design of small molecules as vaccine adjuvants

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Science Translational Medicine  19 Nov 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 263, pp. 263ra160
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009980

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Better Adjuvants Through Chemistry

Vaccine development has come a long way since Jenner first noticed that cowpox protected against smallpox. And yet, many vaccines do not work well alone; adjuvants are included with the vaccine to boost the immune response. Despite the critical role of adjuvants in vaccine efficacy, new adjuvant development has been empirical. Now, Wu et al. report the rational optimization of small-molecule immune potentiators (SMIPs) as adjuvants. These SMIPs were engineered to have limited bioavailability and remain localized, inducing temporally and spatially restricted inflammation. This systematic approach to optimizing adjuvant properties may allow for improved immune responses to vaccines with fewer side effects.

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