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Many vaccines, including those using recombinant antigen subunits, rely on adjuvant(s) to enhance the efficacy of the host immune responses. Among the few adjuvants clinically approved, QS-21, a saponin-based immunomodulatory molecule isolated from the tree bark of Quillaja saponaria (QS) is used in complex formulations in approved effective vaccines. High demand of the QS raw material as well as manufacturing scalability limitation has been barriers here. We report for the first-time successful plant cell culture production of QS-21 having structural, chemical, and biologic, properties similar to the bark extracted product. These data ensure QS-21 and related saponins are broadly available and accessible to drug developers.

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Journal article



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Agenus, Inc, Lexington MA, USA.