Oral vaccines represent many advantages compared to standard vaccines. They hold a simple method of administration and manufacturing process. In addition to these, the way they can induce immune responses makes these a promising technology for the pharmaceutical industry and represents a new hope to society. Physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) has been used in support of drug development to predict the pharmacokinetics of the compound, considering the patient’s physiology. Despite PBPK studies now being widely used, there are very few models in the literature that support vaccine development. Therefore, the goal of this article was to determine how PBPK could support vaccine development. The first PBPK model for an oral vaccine using alpha-tocopherol as a vaccine adjuvant was built. LogP is the parameter that influences the delivery of alpha-tocopherol into the tissues more. Having a high LogP means it accumulates in adipose tissue and is slowly metabolized. The ideal formulation to include alpha-tocopherol in an oral vaccine would incorporate nanoparticles in a capsule, and the dosage of the compound would be 150 mg in a volume of 200 mL. This article aims to determine if alpha-tocopherol, as a well-known adjuvant for intramuscular injection vaccines, could be used as an adjuvant to oral vaccines. This model was built considering the conditions and requirements needed for designing an oral vaccine. This implies making sure the antigen and adjuvants reach the main target by overcoming the challenges of the gastrointestinal tract. The main parameters that would need to be included in a formulation using alpha-tocopherol as an adjuvant were determined.
By Leonor Saldanha, Nuno Vale