Adjuvant Additives that Enhance Vaccine Response

Boxer examined by one of McConnell’s Veterinary Clinic veterinarian.  Photo: U.S. Air Force photograph taken by Airman 1st Class Laura L. Valentine


Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent: US 9320735


​Steve Dow
Angela Henderson
Leah Mitchell

At A Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a family of adjuvants and additives to enhance immunoactivity of a vaccine or cancer/tumor inhibiting treatment. The adjuvants and additives may be used in combination with virtually any conventional adjuvant and/or vaccine, or as an adjuvant alone, to provide an improved therapeutic preparation as a vaccine, as well as together with any variety of cancer treatment therapies (chemotherapy, radiation, cancer vaccine).

Patented methods and compositions provide an increase in the effectiveness of vaccines and cancer/tumor treatments in a manner that is independent of the type of vaccine adjuvant included in the preparation.

For more details, please contact our office.

Licensing Director

Steve Foster

Reference No.: 10-082


Immunologic adjuvants are added to vaccines to stimulate the immune system’s response to the target antigen, but do not in themselves confer immunity.  Adjuvants can act in various ways in presenting an antigen to the immune system: (1) as a depot for the antigen presenting the antigen over a long period of time, maximizing the immune response before the body clears the antigen; or (2) as an irritant which causes the body to recruit and amplify immune response.

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccines, for example, contain minute quantities of toxins produced by each of the target bacteria, but also contains some aluminum hydroxide.  Such aluminum salts are common adjuvants in vaccines sold in the United States and have been used in vaccines for over 70 years. The body’s immune system develops an antitoxin to the bacteria’s toxins, not to the aluminum, but would not respond enough without the help of the aluminum adjuvant.

Although immunological adjuvants have traditionally been viewed as substances that aid the immune response to antigen, adjuvants have also evolved as substances that can aid in stabilizing formulations of antigens.  Vaccine preparations have been observed to demonstrate less than robust immune response in vivo, creating a need for the development of enhanced vaccine preparations.

  • Induces needed robust immune response to augment the effectiveness of vaccines in general
  • Vaccine preparations with improved immune response in animals

Guth AM, Hafeman SD, Elmslie RE, Dow SW. Liposomal clodronate treatment for tumour macrophage depletion in dogs with soft-tissue sarcoma. Vet Comp Oncol. 2013;11(4):296-305. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5829.2012.00319

Hafeman SD, Varland D, Dow SW. Bisphosphonates significantly increase the activity of doxorubicin or vincristine against canine malignant histiocytosis cells. Vet Comp Oncol. 2012;10(1):44-56. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5829.2011.00274

Guth AM, Hafeman SD, Dow SW. Depletion of phagocytic myeloid cells triggers spontaneous T cell- and NK cell-dependent antitumor activity. Oncoimmunology. 2012;1(8):1248-1257. doi:10.4161/onci.21317

Last updated: August 2020

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