Immuno-oncology vaccines

Discovery | Development | Delivery

Our Company

AilseVax is developing the next generation of cancer vaccines by focusing on three core elements of cancer vaccine development:

  • Novel adjuvants
  • Neoantigen discovery
  • Innovative delivery platforms

Founded by experts in cancer biology, immunology and data science, with an experienced management team with an excellent track-record in building multiple successful life sciences ventures.

Founders & Advisors

Ed Lavelle
Prof. Ed Lavelle
TCD, Founder
  • Immunology & adjuvant expert
  • Past president of Irish Society for Immunology
Chris Scott
Prof. Chris Scott
QUB, Founder
  • Dean of Research, Medicine, Health & Life Sciences
  • Ex-Fusion Antibodies
  • MRC DPFS Panel
Simon McDade
Dr. Simon McDade
QUB, Founder
  • Functional Genomics expert
  • Lead QUB Genomics Core
Dan Longley
Prof. Dan Longley
QUB, Founder
  • Director, Patrick G. Johnston Centre for Cancer Research
  • Innovate UK Scholar, Almac Discovery
  • Led recent partnering drug discovery with major Pharma
Mehdi Jafarnejad
Dr. Mehdi Jafarnejad
QUB, Founder
  • mRNA translation & protein synthesis expert
Sarah Maguire
Dr. Sarah Maguire
QUB, Advisor
  • Genomics Informatics expert
  • Bioinformatics Lead QUB Genomics Core

Our Team

AilseVax scientists have world-recognized expertise in functional genomics, drug delivery and vaccine adjuvants. Our team consists of scientists and advisors with extensive experience in cancer biology, neo-antigen discovery, vaccine adjuvants, IND-enabling studies, and early phase clinical trials.

Located in Belfast, AilseVax formed as a spin out company from Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast; two of the leading research universities on the island of Ireland.


Our science is based on the development of advanced antigen formulations that bring together adjuvant and delivery innovations to enhance antigen presentation and promote anti-tumour immune responses.

In cancer, adjuvants are designed to promote an anti-tumour immune response. AVX101™ is our chitin-derived adjuvant technology that has demonstrated great potential for enhancing anti-tumour immunity.

1. Immunogenic tumour specific antigens

Need for antigens that are selectively expressed in tumours and are antigenic


Cancer Antigen Discovery Platform

1st Novel Cancer Antigen AV21567.4

2. Effective adjuvants to drive both CD4 and CD8 T cell responses

Adjuvants that can ensure the development of cellular immune responses needed for cancer vaccines and immunotherapies


Speciality Adjuvant

Asset ready for Clinical development

3. Ability to deliver the antigens & adjuvant to both APCs & tumour

Ability to deliver the adjuvant and immunogen together to the correct cells and elicit a tumour specific response is critical


Drug Delivery


Antigen Enhancing Technology

Efficient delivery and mRNA boosting Technology

AilseVax are developing innovations across all three domains to build an asset centric technology and drug development company

AltRNA8V™ antigen discovery engine
AilseVax has developed the AltRNA8V™ antigen discovery engine to exploit the untapped wealth of antigenic potential encoded in abnormal RNAs and their translation products.

Our unique combination of cutting-edge genomics methods, datasets and analysis workflows enable identification of cancer-specific antigens that are not detected by the existing methods. We believe this will enable the creation of new vaccines for the treatment and prevention of cancer

AilseVax Adjuvant Technologies
Novel vaccine adjuvants are required to promote cellular immunity for cancer vaccines. AVX101™ is our chitin-derived adjuvant technology that demonstrates efficacy in promoting protective cell-mediated immunity in a therapeutic setting. Our second adjuvant technology based on biodegradable nanoparticles promotes antigen specific CD4 and CD8 responses to purified proteins.

Our pipeline

FOCUSING ON CANCER Vaccines that work in multiple patient populations

AilseVax’s goal is to use our proprietary technology platforms to develop cancer vaccines that work in multiple patient populations

Clinical Indications
Head & Neck, Prostate and Melanoma
Phase I
Clinical Indications
Colorectal Cancer
Phase I

Latest Events & Press Releases

BIO 2022 Convention, San Diego, CA USA

May 14–16, 2023  Dublin, Ireland
Don't miss the opportunity to meet our team. We look forward to seeing you in Dublin

June 5-8, 2023 Boston, MA
Don't miss the opportunity to meet our team. We look forward to seeing you in Boston

AilseVax Ltd. secure £1.5M seed funding to advance cancer vaccine development.
Press Release | 11 May 2023
Allen Martin, TechStart; Sian McLaughlin, Clarendon Fund Managers, Dr Paul Kerr, CEO of AilseVax; David Moore, QUBIS; and Professor Daniel Longley from the PGJCCR

AilseVax has received £1.5M in seed investment from investors including QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen's University Belfast; Co-Fund NI and TechStart NI as part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance suite of funds; and Sapphire Capital, together with grants from Biomedical Catalyst, InnovateUK and Invest NI. Speaking on the investment, Dr Paul Kerr, CEO at AilseVax, said: “We are very pleased with the support from our investors that will add to our competitively acquired grant funding to advance our mission to develop novel cancer vaccine therapies. With this support we can accelerate our research and bring promising therapies forward into clinical trials and ultimately improve the lives of cancer patients.”

Located in Belfast, AilseVax formed as a spin-out company from Queen’s University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin (TCD), two of the leading research universities on the island of Ireland. The partnership was built on a decade long academic collaboration in the cancer vaccine field and was aided by the Ireland-Northern Ireland-US National Cancer Institute Cancer Consortium formed in 1999 to link knowledge and innovation between the USA, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; this consortium was itself a result of the Good Friday Agreement.

The research at TCD by AilseVax co-founder Professor Ed Lavelle’s group involves therapeutic vaccination against cancer using novel adjuvants to boost cell mediated immune responses. Prof Lavelle commented that “developing improved cancer vaccines relies on innovations in adjuvant discovery and our novel technologies have great potential to enhance the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy.” Commenting on the announcement, Professor Dan Longley, Director of Research at the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research (PGJCCR) at Queen’s University Belfast and co-founder of AilseVax, said: “It is incredibly exciting to be part of AilseVax. The science we are doing in Queen’s and Trinity is at the cutting-edge of cancer vaccine research. The approaches we are developing have the potential to significantly improve outcomes for people with cancer across the globe.” Co Fund NI and Techstart NI are part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland Programme (2014-2020).


AilseVax recognises the value of collaborating with external experts to develop our science into novel treatments that will positively impact the treatment of cancer.

We welcome enquiries about establishing new partnerships and collaborations, including joint efforts to expand our AltRNA8V™ antigen discovery engine and our Adjuvant platforms to enable the development of new immunotherapies in multiple types of cancer.

If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact us. AilseVax has established partnerships with the following leading academic institutes and companies to support our scientific innovation and development strategies. Click on the icons below for more information.