Demand is heating up for Quillaja saponin-based adjuvants, which owe their existence to the soap bark tree (Quillaja saponaria) found primarily in Chile.
In particular, the QS-21 saponin adjuvant is popular. It is found in GSK’s (NYSE:GSK) Shingrix shingles vaccine, GSK’s Mosquirix malaria vaccine and Novavax’s (NSDQ:NVAX) COVID-19 vaccine. QS-21 is uniquely capable of enhancing the immune response to vaccine antigens.
Clinicaltrials.gov sites 55 studies using the adjuvant. Novavax alone aims to produce 2 billion vaccine doses annually.
Rising demand for saponin-based adjuvants threatens to exhaust supply, but the company Q-VANT Biosciences (Sagamore, Massachusetts) has emerged from stealth mode, boasting that it can increase the production volume of QS-21 by more than 1,000 times over traditional methods.
“We are rewriting that whole narrative,” said Q-VANT CEO …