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Valneva vaccine 'outperforms' AstraZeneca shot in trial

Mon 18 October 2021 10:55 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - A Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Valneva performed better than AstraZeneca's jab in trials, the French biotech announced on Monday, sending its shares soaring.

The group, which recently had its €1.4bn deal with the UK government cancelled, said its vaccine candidate, VLA2001, had demonstrated "superior neutralising antibody titer levels" compared to AstraZeneca's vaccine.

The tolerability profile was also "significantly" more favourable, with participants aged 30 years and older reporting fewer adverse side effects up to seven days after vaccination.

Shares in Paris-listed Valneva jumped on the announcement, and by 1045 BST they were trading 38% higher. The firm saw its shares tumble last month after the UK government cancelled an agreement with Valneva to supply at least 100m doses of the vaccine.

The government said at the time that the French firm was in breach of its obligations, which Valneva "strenuously" denied.

The phase III study involved 4,012 participants aged 18 upwards at 26 trial sites in the UK.

Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol and the trial chief investigator, called the results "both impressive and extremely encouraging", adding: "This is a much more traditional approach to vaccine manufacture than the vaccines so far deployed in the UK, Europe and North America, and these results suggest this vaccine candidate is on track to play an important role in overcoming the pandemic."

Thomas Lingelbach, Valneva chief executive, said: "These results confirm the advantages often associated with inactivated whole virus vaccines. We are committed to bringing our differentiated vaccine candidate to licensure as quickly as possible, and continue to believe that we will be able to make an important contribution to the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic."

The firm, which is also preparing for trials on children aged between 5 and 12, has commenced rolling submission for initial approval with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and is preparing to commence rolling submission for conditional approval with the European Medicines Agency.

VLA2001 is currently the only whole virus, inactivated, adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine candidate in clinical trials.

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