Vaccine: disillusionment for Valneva after the termination of his British contract – Economy

“The contract includes a clause allowing the British government to terminate it. He further claims that Valneva failed to meet its obligations, which Valneva vigorously contests, ”indicates the Valneva laboratory in a press release, without giving further details. The title of biotech fell very heavily at the opening of the Paris Bourse, losing more than 40% at 9:20 a.m.

Against covid-19, biotech is developing a deactivated virus vaccine, a technology more traditional than messenger RNA and which is used in particular for influenza vaccines each year. The laboratory had submitted in August its request for authorization to the British health authorities for its vaccine candidate, VLA2001.

“Valneva has worked tirelessly, and invested to the maximum of its abilities, in its collaboration” with the British government, “in particular by committing significant resources and by showing a very strong implication in order to respond to [ses] requests for vaccines suitable for variants ”, highlights the laboratory on Monday.

The United Kingdom was the first to support Valneva by placing an order: first for 60 million doses, then 40 million more, for 2021-2022. This country “responded first, probably largely because we were already there, and also because they immediately believed in our inactivated vaccine. They were the first to react and to give us a structured offer of help. They took all the risks on the program, ”welcomed Franck Grimaud, CEO of Valneva, at the start of the year.

Phase 3 results still in progress

At the end of August, the biotech had indicated that, on the basis of the phase 1 and 2 trials, it hoped “to have a vaccine which is effective in a manner greater than 80%”. She recalls this Monday that the results of phase 3 trials, intended to prove the real effectiveness of a treatment before a possible marketing, are expected at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

These results “will be part of the progressive submission of the conditional authorization application for VLA2001 to the UK health agency. Subject to the results of phase 3 and the approval of this agency, “Valneva believes that an initial marketing authorization for VLA2001 could be obtained by the end of 2021”.

The group says it “continues to be fully engaged in the development” of its vaccine candidate and that it “will increase its efforts with other potential customers to ensure that its inactivated vaccine can be used in the field. fight against the pandemic ”. At the end of August, Franck Grimaud had affirmed that discussions with the European Union were also “still in progress”.

During the first half of 2021, biotech tripled its net loss to 86 million euros. It was explained by highlighting a decline in sales of its commercial vaccines during the pandemic and major investment efforts in a series of candidate vaccines, against covid-19, but also against chikungunya and the disease of Lyme.

On the other hand, the group’s cash had swelled by more than half on June 30 to reach 329.8 million euros. An influx of money in particular linked to the partnership with the British government on the vaccine against covid-19 and its IPO in New York last May.

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