Imiquimod as Vaccine Adjuvant

Dendritic cell (DC) vaccine is effective immunotherapy for cancer treatment, but the clinical efficacy needs to be improved. Imiquimod can be used as an effective adjuvant for formulating DC-based anti-tumor vaccines. Creative Biolabs is a leader in the field of vaccine development and the extensive experience and expertise of our scientists enable us to provide development services related to innate immune stimulators, particularly the adjuvant development of Imiquimod.



Imiquimod (INN) is a prescription medication, a patient-applied cream prescribed to treat genital warts, superficial basal cell carcinoma, and actinic keratosis. It acts as an immune response modifier and was discovered by scientists at 3M's pharmaceuticals division and obtained the first FDA approval in 1997 under the brand Aldara.

Imiquimod as a Vaccine Adjuvant

Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most effective professional antigen-presenting cells and play a key role in triggering the immunization of various antigens including tumors, but the clinical efficacy needs to be improved. These cells capture and process tumor-associated antigens, presenting epitopes on their membranes that complex with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. A variety of ligands for Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been found to act on TLR expressed on DCs and other cells, directly or indirectly promoting DC migration and functional maturation, and enhancing the intensity of immune responses. Imiquimod is a synthetic TLR7 agonist that regulates both innate and adaptive immune responses, which can be used as an effective adjuvant for formulating DC-based anti-tumor vaccines. It exhibits potent antiviral and antitumor activity through broad direct and indirect effects on the skin and immune system. Imiquimod stimulates the innate immune system by activating toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7), which is normally involved in pathogen recognition. Cells secreted by imiquimod via TLR-7 (mainly interferon-α (IFN-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)). The mechanism of these effects of imiquimod is related to enhanced DC homing to DLN, inhibition of Treg’s production, direct tumor cytotoxicity and synergistic function with enhanced DC activation of mast cells. Evidence suggests that imiquimod can cause activation of Langerhans cells when applied to the skin, followed by migration to local lymph nodes to activate the adaptive immune system. Other cell types activated by imiquimod include macrophages, natural killer cells, and B lymphocytes.

Creative Biolabs is specialized in assisting clients with every stage of the vaccine development services, including adjuvant optimization. As an innovative and truly premier drug discovery and development research partner, Creative Biolabs is committed to providing the best quality services and high level of specialized support.

Our services are for research use only. We do not provide services directly to individuals.

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