Boosting Immunogenicity of Vaccines Using Saponins and Agonists of the Intracellular STING Pathway


Vaccine formulation of an activator of the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway and saponin adjuvant for enhanced protection of aged population.

Key Benefits

  • Significantly improved protective immunity of vaccine in the aged.
  • More efficient than the current methods of influenza vaccination of population 65 years of age or older without the need of additional dosing.
  • Simple in preparation.

Market Summary

There is an urgent need to improve protective responses to vaccination in the elderly population, which is at especially high risk for adverse outcomes from infection. cGAMP acts as an agonist of STING (Stimulator of Interferon Genes) and induces type I IFN responses which are important for development of immunity. When delivered with influenza vaccine, it potentiated and prolonged cellular and humoral immune responses to the vaccine. Since STING is located inside cells on the endoplasmic reticulum, cGAMP is not easily transported intracellularly. Delivering cGAMP in the presence of saponin improved its availability to STING and combined adjuvanted potential of both compounds.

Technical Summary

Emory researchers have formulated a combination of cGAMP and saponin adjuvants. Saponin adjuvants, such as Quil-A or QS-21, are a category of adjuvants that have been used. This invention provides vaccine adjuvanted with cGAMP-saponin combination to increase the protective efficacy in elderly patients who are at a higher risk of disease and mortality. Researchers have demonstrated that aged mice vaccinated against influenza with the combination of cGAMP and saponin achieved enhanced protection against influenza and virtually all of them survived the lethal influenza challenge.

Developmental Stage

In vitro and mouse model study data are available.

Publication: Vasilieva, E. V. et al. (2019). Front. Immunol., 10, 3006.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Utility (parent) United States 17/233,333 11,857,618 4/16/2021 1/2/2024 Issued
Tech ID: 18157
Published: 4/24/2020