Dose finding for new vaccines: The role for immunostimulation/immunodynamic modelling

J Theor Biol. 2019 Mar 21;465:51-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2019.01.017. Epub 2019 Jan 10.


Current methods to optimize vaccine dose are purely empirically based, whereas in the drug development field, dosing determinations use far more advanced quantitative methodology to accelerate decision-making. Applying these established methods in the field of vaccine development may reduce the currently large clinical trial sample sizes, long time frames, high costs, and ultimately have a better potential to save lives. We propose the field of immunostimulation/immunodynamic (IS/ID) modelling, which aims to translate mathematical frameworks used for drug dosing towards optimizing vaccine dose decision-making. Analogous to Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modelling, the mathematical description of drug distribution (PK) and effect (PD) in host, IS/ID modelling approaches apply mathematical models to describe the underlying mechanisms by which the immune response is stimulated by vaccination (IS) and the resulting measured immune response dynamics (ID). To move IS/ID modelling forward, existing datasets and further data on vaccine allometry and dose-dependent dynamics need to be generated and collate, requiring a collaborative environment with input from academia, industry, regulators, governmental and non-governmental agencies to share modelling expertise, and connect modellers to vaccine data.

Keywords: Immune response; Mathematical modelling; Vaccine development; Vaccine dose optimization.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Immunogenicity, Vaccine / immunology*
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines / pharmacokinetics*


  • Vaccines