French firm Valneva wins EU approval to supply Covid-19 vaccines

French biotech company Valneva has reportedly announced that it has won an approval from European Commission for an Advance Purchase Agreement to supply approximately 60 million jabs of its potential COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed VLA2001, as the region ramps up its fight against growing cases.

Chief Executive of Valneva, Thomas Lingelbach, stated that the company is very grateful to the EU watchdog and the European Commission, for extending its support.

Lingelbach further added that the company is eager to help tackle the region’s ongoing pandemic woes.

Stella Kyriakides, the EU health commissioner, while addressing the deal, stated that the Valneva vaccine, once proven to be safe and effective as per the standards of European Medicines Agency, will add another option to the EU’s broad portfolio of vaccines.

VLA2001, Valneva’s vaccine candidate, makes use of more traditional technology when compared to its counterparts, the mRNA vaccines. The firm hopes that its vaccine would be a more amiable option for those who are not yet convinced to get immunized.

While the mRNA vaccines target the spike protein of the coronavirus to induce an immune response, the VLA2001 stimulates an immune response against the entire virus. This technology could give Valneva’s vaccine an edge in the fight against the coronavirus.

Valneva had previously reported that its vaccine’s effectiveness was on par with AstraZeneca’s shot, with substantially fewer adverse side effects, when the two were compared in a late-stage trial. The trial also showed that the vaccine, which when given in two shots with a gap of 28 days in between, showed less adverse reactions than AstraZeneca such as fever or arm pain.

According to the contract between Valneva and the European Commission, the EU member states are provided the possibility to purchase as much as 27 million doses in 2022. Members can further order up to 33 million additional doses in 2023.

The highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus had already been circulating when Valneva’s trial was conducted. The deal highlights the possibility of the vaccine being adapted to fight new variants.

Source credit: https://www.france24.com/en/france/20211110-french-firm-valneva-wins-approval-from-european-commission-to-supply-covid-19-vaccines