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Hyaluronic acid as a natural adjuvant for vaccines based on proteins and peptides

Hyaluronic acidImmunological adjuvantOncologiaoncologyVaccine


The invention consists in exploiting the immunostimulating properties of hyaluronic acid (HA), which if chemically conjugated to an antigen is able to induce a specific and lasting immune response. From this context was born the idea of using HA as an innovative vaccine adjuvant. In the tumor area, HA-based vaccines produce a response capable of both preventing and contrasting the growth of the neoplasm, in the complete absence of side effects. This derives from the ability of HA-based conjugates to train the immune system to recognize antigens on cancer cells that would normally be “invisible”.

Technical features

HA is an intrinsic polymer of our body and therefore totally biocompatible, non-toxic and perfectly tolerated. Studies carried out by the inventors themselves indicate that HA fragments of certain sizes are easily conjugated potentially to any type of protein molecule, including those expressed by cancer cells, and peptides.

HA differs from any other adjuvant and as such fills the gaps of other adjuvants on the market, which are often not effective when used in anti-tumor vaccines, or cause side effects. In addition, the high versatility due to the possible conjugation of HA with any antigen promises the development of infinite vaccines.

Possible Applications

  • Hyaluronic acid used as an immunological adjuvant;
  • Immunological adjuvant for use in prophylactic or therapeutic methods in anti-tumor vaccination protocols;
  • Possible conjugation of HA with any antigen suggesting the development of infinite vaccines;
  • Conjugation to different proteins of tumor origin in order to create a wide range of anti-cancer vaccines directed against different types of cancer.


  • Extremely effective in inducing a strong specific and lasting immune response;
  • Ability to reduce the amount of antigen and the number of inoculations (boosters) necessary to obtain an adequate response;
  • Total absence of systemic and local toxicity at the injection site (no signs of inflammation);
  • Efficacy and safety profile superior to any other vaccine adjuvant currently in clinical use;
  • Versatility, that is, the possibility of creating multiple vaccines;
  • Solubility in water and the possibility of freeze-drying, which allow its long conservation without loss of effectiveness (overcoming the problem related to the management of the so-called “cold chain”).