Valneva expand COVID vaccine trials amid EC contract bid

pharmafile | September 23, 2021 | News story | |   

Valneva has announced the expansion of trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001, as it remains in talks with the European Commission (EC) over a potential contract.

Valneva shares plunged 42% after the UK pulled out of a 100 million dose deal on 13 September, worth up to €1.4 billion.

Read: Valneva COVID-19 vaccine deal pulled by UK government

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the reason for the U-turn was due in part to the belief the vaccine would not have gained MHRA approval. He said: “There are commercial reasons that we have cancelled the contract, but what I can tell you is that it was also clear to us that the vaccine in question that the company was developing would not get approval by the MHRA here in the UK.”

Read: Sajid Javid: Valneva COVID vaccine would not have been approved by MHRA

In regards to the UK deal, Valneva said in a statement that the UK government had alleged it was in breach of its obligations under the supply agreement, a charge the company strenuously denies.

Shares in Valneva have recovered somewhat since the issues with the UK deal, climbing 14% since to stand up 71% since the start of the year.

In the statement, Chief Executive Thomas Lingelbach, said: “We’re confident that many countries, and regulators, will want to have the opportunity to consider our inactivated COVID-19 vaccine.”

Valneva’s vaccine candidate, which relies on an inactivated virus similar to flu vaccines, is seen by some as having the potential to win over people wary of vaccines that use new mRNA technology.

In a statement the company said: “Valneva continues discussions with the European Commission regarding a potential VLA2001 supply contract.

“The company is also actively pursuing opportunities to make VLA2001 available to other customers, subject to positive Cov-Compare data and regulatory approval.

“Topline results from the pivotal Cov-Compare trial are expected early in the fourth quarter of 2021 and are intended to form the basis for potential regulatory approval in adults”.

Kat Jenkins

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