ASO3 is the GlaxoSmithKline adjuvant being used in some swine flu vaccines. It is not being used in the United States. It does contain squalene. It is being used in Canada and Europe. The presence of novel adjuvants in swine flu vaccines has become very controversial in some countries. WHO recommended that countries use the adjuvants to stretch the world supply of swine flu vaccines.
ASO4 (not ASO3) is the GSK adjuvant used in Cervarix and Fendrix (a European Hepatitis B vaccine for patients with renal failure). It contains an aluminum salt and other ingredients. The package insert for Cervarix says it contains aluminum hydroxide, while the Fendrix insert says it contains aluminum phosphate, and refers to the adjuvant as ASO4-C. So it appears the ASO4 adjuvants in the two GSK vaccines are not identical.
Both ASO4 adjuvants contain Monophosphoryl lipid A (aka MPL or MPL-A). MPL has not been included in any previously-licensed vaccines in the US, and is considered a novel adjuvant. MPL is derived from bacterial lipopolysaccharide and is an immunomodulator. When MPL was used in experimental anthrax vaccines, squalene was included in the vaccines. However, neither the Cervarix nor Fendrix package inserts state that these vaccines include squalene. Therefore, my previous posts claiming those vaccines contained squalene are wrong. I will try to clarify the makeup of ASO4, and apologize for this error.
UPDATE: This article, whose authors work for Novartis and have shepherded MF59 along, clarifies the makeup and background of ASO4, ASO1, ASO2 and MF59.