Valneva: Another setback for Valneva’s Covid vaccine

(BFM Bourse) – Valneva is having a difficult start to the week on the Paris Stock Exchange after announcing the end of its agreement with IDT Biologika for the manufacture of its VLA2001 vaccine against Covid-19. A new disappointment which points to the difficulties of the Franco-Austrian laboratory in marketing its product on a large scale.

Clearly, Valneva is not immune to disappointments regarding its Covid-19 vaccine. And the news of the day confirms the many difficulties for the Franco-Austrian laboratory to market its vaccine against Covid-19, VLA2001.

Valneva and IDT Biologika announced on Friday that they had reached an agreement on the end of their collaboration in the production of VLA2001, its vaccine against Covid-19. On the Paris Stock Exchange, after being suspended from trading in the first exchanges, the Valneva share dropped 12.37% to 7.11 euros, around 10:30 a.m. It shows the biggest drop in the SBF 120 index on Monday morning.

An amicable divorce

In November 2021, the Franco-Austrian laboratory Valneva called on this German subcontractor to help it produce the active substance of VLA2001 in Germany. IDT Biologika has made a specialty of developing and manufacturing innovative antiviral vaccines, gene and immune therapy products as well as biological products for third parties.

This amicable divorce is not unrelated to the reduction in the volume of orders from the European Commission. Last July, the European institution announced that it had reduced its order for Valneva’s vaccine against Covid-19 to 1.25 million doses, far from the 60 million doses provided for in the initial contract.

A decision that led the biotech to suspend its production and, in turn, to question its partnership with IDT Biologika. In compensation, the Franco-Austrian laboratory will pay the German up to 36.2 million euros in cash and the equivalent of 4.5 million euros in equipment.

Weak sales for VLA2001

In the first half of 2022, sales of Valneva’s anti-Covid vaccine only reached 3.8 million euros, in this case in Bahrain. It is in this kingdom of the Gulf that the Franco-Austrian group won in March 2022, its first authorization for the emergency use of the inactivated and adjuvanted vaccine VLA2001.

However, this level of sales was insufficient to maintain Valneva’s 2022 financial objectives. Last August, the biotechnology company indeed lowered its revenue forecast for 2022 after having almost doubled its net loss in the first half. Over the whole of 2022, biotech only expects a total turnover of between 340 and 360 million euros.

Biotech is counting on its other vaccine candidates against various diseases to restore its health. Its vaccine against Lyme disease, VLA15, is the subject of a phase 3 study (last stage of clinical trials before possible marketing) in partnership with the American giant Pfizer. It is currently the only experimental vaccine in clinical trials against Lyme disease. The chikungunya vaccine developed by Valveva will soon be submitted to US health authorities for possible marketing authorization.

Sabrina Sadgui – ©2022 BFM Bourse

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