Science

Anti-Covid vaccines: soon an agreement between the EU and the French Valneva?

Finally a blue white red vaccine approved by the European Union? The Franco-Austrian laboratory Valneva is working on its serum against Covid-19, currently in a phase 3 clinical study, the last step before a marketing application, which the biotech plans to submit in the fall if the results are positive.

But already, several EU member states want the block to order from Valneva, despite the failure of negotiations between the laboratory and the European executive, according to Reuters. The reason for this failure: the French biotechnology company has not met the conditions for the supply of doses of its vaccine, according to the spokesperson for the Commission quoted by the agency.

“There are a dozen countries interested in an agreement with Valneva. The contract is written, but the two parties still have to agree on some structuring parameters. Once this is settled, the situation could move forward quickly,” argues a source close to EU projects. Among these countries, France and Germany.

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In January, the EU announced that it had concluded preliminary discussions with biotech for the supply of up to 60 million doses of its candidate vaccine, including 30 million as an option.

An agreement with the United Kingdom

According to one of the news agency’s sources, Berlin wants Valneva to pledge not to prioritize Britain in its deliveries.

Because the Nantes SME has already signed an agreement with the United Kingdom. “We started discussions with the French authorities very early on, but the British government was the first to make a full proposal to us,” Franck Grimaud, co-founder and managing director of L’Express told us last summer. company, which has 500 employees and a turnover of 130 million euros last year.

The agreement covers a maximum of 190 million doses by 2025 in an operation valued at 1.4 billion euros. The French biotech vaccine, which will use an adjuvant manufactured by the American company Dynavax, will be produced in Scotland, for an estimated volume of 200 million doses next year, Reuters said.

Traditional technology

Franck Grimaud is confident in his project, which is based on traditional technology: immunization by injection of the inactivated virus and an adjuvant. “This is the technique that we used for the first vaccine that we put on the market, against Japanese encephalitis. We master it perfectly,” he explained to L’Express.

“Our program is almost identical to that of Sinovac,” says Franck Grimaud, referring to the Chinese vaccine, currently distributed in at least 21 countries. The boss of Valneva is hoping for at least similar results.


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