- Increasing viral dosage within dry powder vaccines reduces the powder mass required to elicit an immune response through pulmonary delivery. This work analyzes how cryoprotective agents affect viral activity, particle properties and thermal stability of a spray dried, inhalable vaccine vector under high viral loading. Stock suspensions of a human serotype 5 adenovirus (AdHu5) vector in either neat phosphate buffered saline (PBS), 10% glycerol in PBS, or 5% trehalose in PBS were added to a mannitol-dextran formulation prior to spray drying. At high viral loading, spray dried powder containing glycerol had a viral titre log loss of 2.8 compared to 0.7 log loss using neat PBS. Powders containing glycerol had a lower glass transition temperature (Tg) compared to all other formulations, permitting greater viral mobility and exposure to heat damage. Inclusion of glycerol also promoted particle cohesion during spray drying and lower yields. Using 5% trehalose as a cryogenic alternative, viral powders had a viral log loss of 1.5 and the highest displayed thermal stability over time. Additionally, trehalose-containing powders had smaller particles with lower water moisture content and higher powder yield compared to glycerol-containing powders. These findings demonstrate the importance of cryoprotective agent selection when developing thermostable vaccine powders.