EU inks deals for up to 60 million Valneva COVID-19 vaccine doses

Valneva announced Wednesday that it reached a two-year deal to supply the EU with up to 60 million doses of its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001, including approximately 27 million doses next year and the remainder in 2023. The company, whose shares jumped as much as 24% on the news, said deliveries are slated to begin in April, pending approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is expected to start a rolling review of VLA2001 "shortly."

The deal follows the conclusion of advanced exploratory talks with the European Commission that began earlier this year. The Commission noted that the contract, which aside from the EMA assessment is also subject to national reviews, "includes the possibility to adapt the vaccines to new variant strains" of SARS-CoV-2.

In September, Valneva shares took a beating after the UK government cancelled its own supply contract worth up to €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) for some 100 million doses of the jab, stating at the time that the move was prompted by a "breach of…obligations" by the company – an accusation Valneva "strenuously" denied.

Follows positive readout against Vaxzevria

Last month, Valneva reported that VLA2001 met the immunogenicity endpoints of the head-to-head Cov-Compare trial, showing it to be "at least as good, if not better" than AstraZeneca's viral vector vaccine Vaxzevria, with fewer side effects and a "significantly more favourable" tolerability profile. Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach said the Phase III study findings "confirmed the advantages often associated with inactivated vaccines." VLA2001, which is currently not authorised anywhere in the world, consists of inactivated whole virus particles of SARS-CoV-2 with high S-protein density, in combination with two adjuvants.

Meanwhile, the EU has a number of existing vaccine supply contracts, including with AstraZeneca, Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech, CureVac, Moderna and Novavax. The deals for the mRNA-based shots produced by Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna amount to a total of 2.1 billion doses.

To read more Top Story articles, click here.