• Loading post from JSON file...

Pharmaceutical Applications

Quillaja saponin extracts are used by the pharmaceutical industry, as precursors for the production of veterinary and human vaccine adjuvants (preclinical developments and clinical use), and also as ingredients for the formulation of reagents in blood diagnostic kits.


Desert King International (DKI), of San Diego, CA, has been the world’s largest producer of saponin extracts. For more than a decade, DKI has produced and supplied most of the precursors of QS-21-rich adjuvants used as raw material by the pharmaceutical industry.
As industry requirements increased, the company devoted an increasing amount of resources to ensure sourcing and meeting the high standards demanded by its pharmaceutical customers. The company has established a strong integrated supply chain that guarantees the production of the highest purity extracts.
Control systems and in-depth knowledge result in the most consistent Quillaja-based saponin extracts available globally. Years of experience and customer orientation combine to make DKI the preferred precursor supplier for QS-21.


Adjuvants are substances that are added to vaccines to help boost an immune response. Additionally, they reduce the demand for antigens used in the industrial production of vaccines.

Purified saponins from Quillaja saponaria Mol. have been used as ingredients for the formulation of vaccine adjuvants by the pharmaceutical industry; uses of such formulations prepared from purified saponins include applications of preclinical vaccines, and commercial vaccines for veterinary and human use.
A classic adjuvant formulation is based on cage-like spherical nanoparticles formed spontaneously by mixing purified quillay saponins with cholesterol and phospholipids; these nanoparticles are known as immunostimulant complexes (ISCOMs).

Advantages of Adjuvants based on Quillay saponins from Desert King

Most adjuvants on the market today (e.g. aluminum hydroxide) mainly activate the humoral immune response (antibodies). What distinguishes adjuvants formulated with Quillay’s saponins from other adjuvants is their ability to induce strong activation of humoral (essential for marking pathogen cells) and cellular responses using cytotoxic T cells (critical to eliminating pathogens in their intracellular phase of infection, where they are not susceptible to the humoral response.
Quillaja saponin-based adjuvants are found today in dozens of commercially available veterinary vaccines by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers. In addition, more than 15 human vaccines ranging from oncology to infectious diseases are being studied utilizing Quillaja saponins.

Vaccine Adjuvant

Extensive clinical experience with QS-21 from various sources *

Extensive clinical experience with QS-21 from various sources *

  • It has been tested on more than 40,000 humans.
  • Currently in human commercial vaccines, and several human vaccine candidates.
  • Combinable with other TLR agonists to form adjuvant systems.
  • It is also studied in HIV, tuberculosis, Alzheimer's disease, Chickenpox Zoster and other cancer-type vaccine programs.

Please click here for a link to Human Clinical Trials with GMP QS-21*.
*The QS-21 manufactured by Desert King Chile is currently offered as a non-GMP, preclinical material and has not been evaluated in clinical research.
* Desert King International offers QS-21 GMP manufactured by a contracted laboratory in the European Union.

QS-21 Pre-Clinical is available as a Desert King product:

QS-21 Pre-Clinical is available as a Desert King product:

  • A new QS-21 quality source.
  • Available directly and without license agreements.
  • Quantities of 5-500 mg are in stock and ready to ship.
  • Discounts offered to researchers and academics.
QS-21 adjuvants offer formulation flexibility

QS-21 adjuvants offer formulation flexibility

  • Potent with small amounts of antigen.
  • Combinable with other adjuvants and in various formulations.
  • It offers dose-saving effect of vaccine antigen.
  • Effective parenteral or mucosal administration.
  • Favorable safety profile.
Boost your vaccine's immune response with QS-21

Boost your vaccine's immune response with QS-21

  • Adjuvant effects reported in the literature for more than 20 years.
  • Increases antigen-specific antibody and T cell responses.
  • Reduces antigen requirements.
  • It helps to potentiate weaker antigens.
  • It improves the duration and onset of the immune response.
  • Used in prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines.

Precursor of Veterinary Adjuvant

VET-SAP®: A more consistent, fully traceable, cost-effective and easily available Quillay-based adjuvant precursor.

VET-SAP®: A more consistent, fully traceable, cost-effective and easily available Quillay-based adjuvant precursor.

  • VET-SAP® VET-SAP® is a veterinary vaccine adjuvant precursor of a fraction of semi-purified saponin from the bark of the Quillaja saponaria Mol tree tree.
  • FIt is the precursor of the purest saponin adjuvant available on the market.
  • We can deliver the most consistent saponin purity and profile in each batch.
  • Rest assured that VET-SAP® is traceable from the forest to the production line and following responsible forestry practices.  Responsible Forestry Practices.
  • Our integrated supply chain, from plantations to the final adjuvant precursor, eliminates the risk of future supply disruptions.


  • VET-SAP® VET-SAP® is supplied as a white to beige powder with a moisture content of less than 8%.
  • The useful life of VET-SAP® is 2 years at room temperature.
  • VET-SAP® is standardized on non-saponin impurities (polyphenols and polysaccharides) to maximize batch-to-batch consistency.

Hemolytic agent for diagnostic analyses

Quillaja saponins as a diagnostic reagent:

• Used for diagnostic buffers for hemolytic analysis.
• High QS18 content; Stronger hemolytic process.
• Stable and highly purified products.
• Effective in low concentrations.
• 100% soluble in water.

Other Products

Quillaja Saponin Fractions Available for Preclinical Research:

  • Fraction QS-7
  • Fraction QS-17
  • Fraction QS-18
  • Fraction A
  • Fraction B
  • Fraction C
  • Quillaic Acid

Recent Publications


Damian Hiley

English & Spanish


Geneviève Vidal

in English or Spanish

We have been notified of scam intents on behalf of Desert King.
Please don’t hesitate to call or email Desert King in case of any doubt.

Start typing and press Enter to search