Croda and Botanical Solution Announce Partnership to Accelerate Production of Sustainable Vaccine Adjuvant QS-21

Croda Pharma and BSI announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration agreement to support the sustainable sourcing of pharmaceutical grade adjuvant QS-21, a potent component of adjuvant systems.

QS-21 is used in several innovative vaccines against diseases such as shingles, malaria and RSV, plus promising new vaccine and immunotherapy treatments such as cancer. This partnership sees the two organisations share expertise to bring to market QS-21 from Quillaja saponaria plant cell culture, delivering the most sustainable source of the adjuvant from plantlets in contrast with conventional methods that harvest mature trees to extract material from the bark. Furthermore, the partnership allows Croda to tackle further the industry challenge of limited supply sources for this critical component, helping customers to better secure their supply chain for QS-21.

This new partnership is aligned with Croda’s commitment to be the most sustainable supplier of innovative ingredients across its growth markets, and Daniele Piergentili, President Life Sciences at Croda, explains his excitement about the partnership. “It provides opportunity to build a scalable, and truly sustainable supply chain of QS-21 to the pharmaceutical industry. The plentiful supply of QS-21 enables the production of next generation adjuvant systems for new vaccine development.”

According to Gaston Salinas, CEO at BSI, “BSI and Croda Pharma are natural partners with a shared vision on removing the barriers that have prevented mass adoption of QS-21 for developing highly efficacious modern vaccines. Through this very exciting partnership we aim to supply kilogram-quantities of sustainable GMP QS-21.”

The announcement is in line with Croda’s strategy to “Empower biologics delivery” and follow news on previous investments to continue expanding Croda Pharma’s manufacturing capabilities in both US and UK, in order to enable the next generation vaccines and therapeutic drugs with their high purity excipients, lipids and adjuvant systems.

Peter Tygesen, Croda Managing Director Adjuvant Systems, also commented: “BSI’s unique and innovative processes for growing Quillaja saponaria biomass in their labs and then extracting the QS-21 from these young plants is a game changing approach. We look forward to partnering with BSI and creating a robust, scalable, and sustainable supply chain for QS-21, enabling our customers to work with this gold standard vaccine adjuvant.”