Skip to main content


Our technology

Our technology

Our technology


Cutting-edge technologies are the driving force behind our research and vaccine development. Our innovative vaccine technology platform – AdVac® – offers real hope for the accelerated development of vaccines, and is designed to help the global health community better prepare for and combat life-threatening infectious disease outbreaks.[1]

This technology was used in the development of our Ebola vaccine regimen, which was approved by the European Commission in July 2020.[2], [3] The AdVac® technology was also used to construct our HIV, RSV and Zika vaccine candidates.[3]

The COVID-19 vaccine research programme is using Janssen’s AdVac® technology to help combat the current COVID-19 pandemic.[3]

AdVac® viral vector technology

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that cause the common cold – so they are expert at transporting things into humans.[4]

Janssen’s AdVac® vectors are based on a specific type of adenovirus[5] that has been genetically modified so that it can no longer replicate in humans and cause disease.[6]

The AdVac® technology works by using an adenovirus as a vector (a carrier) of an antigen’s genetic code[6] [7] to mimic the pathogen (a bacterium, virus or other disease-causing organism) without causing severe disease.[7][8]

When the body encounters the antigen, it will induce both a humoral and cellular-immune response against the antigen by producing immune cells and antibodies.[8], [9], [10]

In the future, if the body encounters the actual pathogen, it will be able to respond faster and more effectively. This is because immune cells and antibodies specific to the pathogen will be rapidly produced in the body to prevent the pathogen from causing disease.[9], [10]


Related Stories




[1] Search results: Ad26 and Janssen. Available at: Accessed: December 2020.

[2]European Commission. Vaccine against Ebola: Commission grants new market authorisations. Available at: Accessed: December 2020.

[3]CDC. About Adenoviruses. Symptoms. Available at: Accessed: December 2020.

[4]Tatsis N, Ertl HC. Adenoviruses as vaccine vectors. Molecular Therapy. 2004;10(4):616-29.

[5] Milligan ID, et al. Safety and Immunogenicity of Novel Adenovirus Type 26– and Modified Vaccinia Ankara–Vectored Ebola Vaccines. JAMA. 2016;315(15):1610.

[6] Barouch et al. International seroepidemiology of adenovirus serotypes 5, 26, 35, and 48 in pediatric and adult populations. Vaccine. 2011;29(32):5203-9.

[7]LiveScience. How Do Vaccines Work? Available at: Accessed: December 2020.

[8]CDC. Understanding how vaccines work. Available at: Accessed: December 2020.

[9] Winslow RL, et al. Immune responses to novel adenovirus type 26 and modified vaccinia virus Ankara–vectored Ebola vaccines at 1 year. JAMA. 2017;317(10):1075-7.

[10]UNAIDS. Global Report UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic. Available: Accessed: December 2020.