Valneva reports positive results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Valneva reported positive Phase III results on Monday, October 18, for its inactivated, adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001, a boost for the French biotech company after Britain cancelled a big deal to buy its shot.

Valneva said its latest trial which was conducted on 4,012 participants aged 18 years and older across 26 trial sites in Britain and showed the vaccine prompted a stronger immune response and fewer side-effects than AstraZeneca's shot.

Valneva is among a handful of vaccine developers testing their vaccines against one that's already been approved by a regulator rather than giving volunteers a dummy placebo as shots become more available.

"These results confirm the advantages often associated with inactivated whole virus vaccines," said Valneva Chief Executive Thomas Lingelbach, adding that the company believed it would make an important contribution to the fight against COVID-19.

Valneva said it was preparing for trials in children aged 5-12 years and for a Valneva-sponsored trial to evaluate VLA2001's performance for people in need of a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

The company's shares plunged last month after Britain cancelled a contract for about 100 million doses of the vaccine Valneva was developing, partly over concerns about when it would win approval for use.

Valneva has been expanding the trials of its VLA2001 COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and remains in talks with the European Commission over a potential contract. –