Public health, innovation, intellectual property and trade

Technology Transfer: Adjuvants

Adjuvants have been added to vaccines to enhance the immune response to vaccine antigens for over 75 years. Adjuvants are of particular interest for pandemic influenza vaccines as they can increase production capacity through dose sparing. In addition, adjuvants are critical enabling technologies for novel vaccines based on recombinant antigens.

The Global Adjuvant Development Initiative

Most of the useful adjuvants are proprietary, and most knowledge surrounding the development and use of adjuvants has not been readily available outside of a few pharmaceutical organizations. The Global Adjuvant Development Initiative (GADI) was created to promote access to adjuvant know-how and technologies for public sector vaccine developers and developing country manufacturers. GADI is housed at WHO and serves as an umbrella initiative to bring together a network of adjuvant providers and users with the following aims:

  • To promote and facilitate access to adjuvants
  • To promote access to information on adjuvants
  • To promote technology transfer of adjuvants
  • To facilitate evaluation of new adjuvants


The adjuvants and the knowledge and training related to adjuvant use that is being generated through GADI are being made available to the public sector through a network of vaccine development institutes and laboratories with an interest in using adjuvants in their vaccine development program. This network, called AdjuNet, is being created to facilitate sharing of data gained with the adjuvants being developed by GADI, to minimize duplication of studies, and to ensure that vaccines that are developed using adjuvants provided by GADI are made available to developing countries at affordable prices.

The AdjuNet secretariat is housed at the World Health Organization. For further information please contact

Adjuvant technology transfer hub - Vaccine Formulation Laboratory, University of Lausanne

The vaccine formulation laboratory at the University of Lausanne is a WHO collaborating centre which has been created to facilitate access to adjuvants and know-how for adjuvant formulation. The centre has recently began training on oil-in-water emulsions to developing country manufacturers.

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