Shares of French biotech Valneva are getting a lift after the company said it has signed a supply agreement with the European Commission for 23.4 million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
Deliveries will begin in the second quarter of 2022 if the vaccine, which is not yet authorized or approved anywhere in the world, receives authorization from the European Medicines Agency, the company said around noon Tuesday. The European Commission has the option of increasing the total purchase agreement to 60 million doses.
Valneva’s (ticker: VALN) American depository receipts rose 3.5% on Tuesday, and were up another 3.7% in premarket trading on Wednesday. ADR rose 24.3% on 10 November, when Valneva announced an advanced purchase agreement. Outline of the agreement with the European Commission.
The company’s COVID-19 vaccine, known as VLA2001, has been underwhelming in recent months. ADR fell 39.9% on 13 September, when Wallneva said the UK government had canceled a deal to buy 100 million doses of VAL2001. At the time, the company stated that the UK government had terminated the deal because Valneva was unable to meet certain undisclosed obligations; Valneva said she denied the “strongly” allegation.
Since then, Valneva has said that Phase 3 trials of VLA2001 showed that it produced a stronger immune response and fewer side effects than the COVID-19 vaccine from competitor AstraZeneca (AZN).
Valneva’s ADR was at $48.36 in premarket trading on Wednesday, putting it back above its price point of $46.80 before Britain canceled its supply deal in mid-September. The ADR was up 63.9% from its closing price on May 7 on its first trading day.
Shares of Dynavax Technologies (DVAX), which provides a component of the Valneva vaccine, were up 1.2% in premarket trading, after falling 2.8% on Tuesday.
VLA2001 is an inactivated whole virus vaccine, the only inactivated whole virus vaccine for COVID-19 in clinical trials in Europe. Inactivated whole virus COVID-19 vaccines are being used outside Europe, including at least one widely used around the world, developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech.
“We are extremely pleased that the European Commission and member states have concluded this purchase agreement and look forward to helping combat the ongoing pandemic,” Walneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach said in a statement. “Our Phase 3 results confirmed the benefits often associated with inactivated vaccines and we believe that our differentiated vaccine candidates can make a significant contribution to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In October, baron’s The company highlighted Valneva in a magazine feature about a Lyme disease vaccine being developed in partnership with Pfizer (PFE).
Valneva is one of several Covid-19 vaccine latecomers still hoping to find a fast full market place. Other companies moving forward with COVID-19 vaccines not yet rolled out include Novavax (NVX) and CureVac (CVAC). Shares of Novavax were down 0.7% after falling 3.5% on Tuesday in premarket trading, while shares of CureVac were down 0.9% after falling 5.5% on Tuesday.
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