French company Valneva SE said on Thursday it has started manufacturing a Covid vaccine at its Livingston plant in Scotland — with UK supplies expected to be available by the end of 2021 if successful.
Valneva said it “commenced production of its inactivated, adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidate in parallel to the ongoing clinical studies, in order to optimize the timeline for potential deliveries of the vaccine.”
The company added: “The Phase 1/2 clinical study is now fully enrolled and is expected to report initial results in April 2021.
“VLA2001 is currently the only inactivated vaccine candidate in clinical trials against COVID-19 in Europe.
“A total of 150 healthy adults aged 18 to 55 years have been recruited for the Phase 1/2 study which commenced mid December 2020.”
Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach said: “We are extremely pleased to have achieved these two important milestones in such a short period of time.
“Our team in Scotland have done an amazing job to get manufacturing started so quickly.
“I would like to thank the UK Vaccines Taskforce and National Institute for Health Research who have played vital roles in the rapid recruitment and enrollment of the volunteers for the clinical study.
“We believe that our vaccine, assuming successful development, can make a major contribution in the UK and beyond.”
Valneva continued: “In September 2020, Valneva announced a major COVID-19 vaccine partnership with the UK government for the supply of up to 190 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine VLA2001.
“Under this partnership agreement, if vaccine development is successful, Valneva will provide the UK government with 60 million doses in the second half of 2021.
“Valneva also announced in January 2021 it is in advanced discussions with the European Commission for the supply of up to 60 million doses of VLA2001.”