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Technology

Alum is a commonly used adjuvant known to increase the immune response to a vaccine. This technology is a peptide that contains phosphoserine repeats, which bind alum, and a maleimide functional group that can be reacted with protein antigens at cysteine residues to facilitate a stable interaction between the protein antigen and alum. Standard vaccine compositions are only loosely absorbed to the alum surface, and the antigen diffuses away from the alum at the injection site within 2-3 days. This conjugating technology increases the stability of the alum-antigen interaction in serum, and leads to stable alum-antigen association for two weeks in an in vivo mouse model. Importantly, the increased retention of the antigen with alum leads to increased antibody titers against the protein antigen, and in a mouse model the inventors demonstrate 10-fold higher antibody titer in comparison to standard alum compositions. Additionally, the orientation of the protein antigen adsorption to alum can be precisely controlled to focus the immune response to particular protein motifs.