Q-VANT Biosciences Launches to Solve the Pharmaceutical Industry Problem of Limited Quillaja Saponin-Based Adjuvants for Life-Saving Vaccines

Q-VANT Biosciences has launched as the first company to achieve a 100% sustainable way to meet the growing global vaccine market demand for Quillaja saponin-based adjuvants including QS-21. QS-21 is considered the “Gold Standard” adjuvant for enhancing immune response to vaccine antigens and is a vital component in more than 17 human vaccine candidates, including the FDA-approved GSK Shingrix shingles vaccine and the WHO-authorized, GSK Mosquirix malaria vaccine. In addition, saponin-based adjuvants are a key component in the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, which has been shown to be highly effective in clinical trials and has recently been authorized for emergency use by the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Q-VANT is led by a team with world-class knowledge of vaccine and adjuvant development, Quillaja extract supply, processing, formulation, purification quantification R&D and application, and decades of experience in pharmaceutical R&D, supply chain, manufacturing, commercialization, and regulatory approvals. Chief Executive Officer, Doug Klaiber, is joined by Chief Commercial Officer, Juan Jose Albarran, and Chief Operating Officer, Hans Konsens. The team was recently rounded out by three robust additions including Chief Scientific Officer Bruce Forrest, MD, MBA; Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jack Love, PhD; and Vice President of Business Development, Stein Lokstad.

“Bruce, Jack, and Stein bring unparalleled leadership expertise, insights and connections gleaned from their decades working at the likes of companies such as Pfizer and Brenntag Biosector,” said Doug Klaiber, Chief Executive Officer, Q-VANT Biosciences. “Their experience in successfully bringing some of the world’s leading vaccines and adjuvants to market will be invaluable as we scale our efforts to produce as much of this highly valuable adjuvant as is needed.”

QS-21 is traditionally extracted from the bark of mature trees native to Chile known as the Quillaja saponaria — a harvesting process that negatively impacts the forest and the sustainability of the resource. Today, with regulatory restrictions on deforestation of this tree, and projected demand for QS-21 in the billions of doses annually, shortages of QS-21 are affecting the pharmaceutical market’s ability to meet the surging need for vaccine dosages globally.

Q-VANT’s Q-SAP (Quillaja Sustainable Adjuvant Platform) is a technology platform combining computational learning techniques and a proprietary multi-step purification process to systematically enhance Quillaja sourcing options and to drive extremely effective outputs. The first of its kind, Q-SAP enables Q-VANT to obtain adjuvant products from a wide range of Quillaja-based plant materials, which can increase production volumes by as much as 1,000, leading to billions of doses in a 100% sustainable way.

“The market opportunity has expanded rapidly for QS-21 as an adjuvant, especially with the race to research, develop and produce vaccines to combat COVID-19,” said Juan Jose Albarran, Chief Commercial Officer, Q-VANT Biosciences. “Our technology is not only able to fulfill the growing demand for QS-21, but also do it in a fully sustainable way which protects the forest and long-term stability of the supply for the adjuvant.”

The company is ramping up its pharma cGMP production and in the process of submitting a Drug Master File (DMF) with FDA in 2022.

Q-VANT is a privately held company that has solved the supply chain problem of QS-21 and other Quillaja-based saponin adjuvants for the global human and animal pharmaceutical markets. The company’s next-generation technology platform combines computational learning techniques with a proprietary multi-step purification process to increase the supply of QS-21 by more than 1,000%, enabling the production of billions of doses annually to meet today’s increasing global market demand. Led by a team with unrivaled experience in vaccine and adjuvant development, manufacturing and global regulatory requirements, and with world-class knowledge in Quillaja saponin supply chain, agronomy, extraction and purification, Q-VANT is the first company that is vertically integrated to combine a secured sustainable Quillaja raw material supply with pharma cGMP commercial-scale production of QS-21 and other saponin-based adjuvants. For more information, visit www.q-vant.com.