Immune Responses to H5N1 Vaccine With and Without AS03 Adjuvant

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01578317
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 16, 2012
Last Update Posted : September 18, 2018
Center for Human Immunology, Autoimmunity and Inflammation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) )

Brief Summary:


- Adjuvants are substances included in vaccines that stimulate the immune system and increase the body's response to the vaccine. The AS03 adjuvant is used in seasonal flu vaccines in Europe. However, it has not been fully tested in the United States. Researchers want to test the immune responses of people who receive a bird flu vaccine with or without AS03 to better understand how the adjuvant works. This information may help develop better flu vaccines.


- To compare the healthy immune system responses to bird flu vaccine with or without the AS03 adjuvant.


- Healthy volunteers between 18 and 45 years of age.


  • Participants will be screened with a physical exam and medical history.
  • Participants will be assigned to one of two groups. Each group will have an initial vaccine, followed by a booster vaccine 21 days later. Both vaccinations will use the same type of vaccine. One group will have the vaccine with AS03; the other group will have the vaccine without it.
  • All participants will have two 36-hour inpatient stays to receive the vaccine. Each stay will involve the vaccination, followed by regular and frequent blood draws. Participants will be monitored for any signs or symptoms that may be caused by the vaccine.
  • Additional blood samples will be collected 7, 28, 42, and 100 days after the initial vaccination.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Influenza Healthy Biological: H5N1 vaccine plus AS03 adjuvant Biological: H5N1 vaccine without adjuvant Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Adjuvants have been in use for many decades to enhance the effects of vaccines on the host immune system, yet we know very little on how they actually work. Better understanding of the mechanism by which adjuvants activate the immune system will enable us to develop better and safer vaccines as well as a broad range of immune interventions to a wide spectrum of diseases including cancer and autoimmunity.

In the current study we propose to study the effect of AS03 adjuvant on the innate/early immune response to H5N1, avian flu, a potentially lethal disease that most subjects are assumed to be naive to AS03 is an adjuvant oil in water emulsion containing DL-alpha-tocopherol, squalene and the non-ionic detergent Tween 80 that has been widely used as an adjuvant to flu vaccines produced by GlaxoSmithKline(GSK).

We therefore propose to randomize up to 60 healthy volunteers into two intervention arms (25 volunteers in each arm with up to 10 total replacements in the event a volunteer does not return for the first vaccine). The first arm will receive a vaccine containing H5N1 with AS03 adjuvant, the second arm will receive H5N1 without AS03 adjuvant. Both arms will receive primary and booster vaccination followed by repeated blood sampling to evaluate the immune responses. We will apply high throughput analytic techniques and use systems biology methods to integrate the collected data and draw a description of the immune system response with and without the adjuvant.

The primary objective is to compare multiplex immune response signatures following two (primary and a boost) vaccinations with the GSK AS03 adjuvanted H5N1 influenza vaccine, or the non-adjuvanted form of the H5N1 influenza vaccine, at the 3.75 mcg dose and given 21 days apart and identify differences in very early innate immune responses. These immune signatures will also be correlated with the clinical observations especially safety related local and systemic events.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 49 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Characterization of Innate Immune Responses to AS03 Adjuvanted H5N1 Vaccine Compared to Non-adjuvanted H5N1 Vaccine
Study Start Date : March 20, 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 22, 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : May 22, 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Bird Flu

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

    1. Healthy status confirmed by History, Physical Exam and blood work through the CHI Screening Protocol.
    2. Age 21 years to 45 years
    3. Able to comprehend the investigational nature of the protocol and provide informed consent
    4. Must be willing to use effective birth control for one month before, during and for two months after the last vaccination.


  1. Severe allergies to eggs or their products, chicken proteins or to any component of the influenza antigen preparation.
  2. Recipient of AS03 vaccine at any time in the past
  3. Recipient of the seasonal influenza vaccine within the past 3 months.
  4. Prior severe reactions to vaccines, including influenza vaccines (e.g. anaphylaxis, angioedema or urticaria)
  5. Participation on any blood collection or blood donation procedure during study that will bring the total blood draw >550ml over 8 weeks
  6. Current pregnancy (women of child bearing potential must have a negative serum pregnancy test done on screening within 1 week of protocol accrual)
  7. Currently breast-feeding
  8. History of Guillain Barre syndrome
  9. Acute illness with patient reported temperature of 38 (Infinite)C or greater within 3 days prior to the proposed time of administration.
  10. Any history or presence of serious illness, bleeding disorders or autoimmune disorders, or planned surgeries.
  11. Weight less than 50 kg (110 pounds)
  12. History of hepatitis or liver disease.
  13. Subjects receiving immunosuppressive therapy.
  14. Presence of HLA DQB1*06:02, the narcolepsy risk associated allele.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01578317

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Center for Human Immunology, Autoimmunity and Inflammation
Principal Investigator: John S Tsang, Ph.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Identifier: NCT01578317     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 120103
First Posted: April 16, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 18, 2018
Last Verified: April 5, 2018

Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) ):
H5N1 Vaccine
H5N1 Immunization
AS03 Adjuvant
Biologic Sample Collection
Laboratory Research Specimens
Healthy Volunteer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Influenza in Birds
Orthomyxoviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs