EU concludes exploratory talks to secure Valneva's potential COVID-19 vaccine

Wednesday, 2021-01-13 13:20:52
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The European Commission concluded exploratory talks on Tuesday with European biotechnology company Valneva with a view to purchasing up to 60 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine once it proves to be safe and effective.

The conclusion of the talks came hot on the heels of a number of contracts the Commission had already signed with producers like AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen, BioNtech-Pfizer, CureVac and Moderna.

Exploratory talks have also been concluded with US pharmaceutical company Novavax to secure 200 million doses of its vaccine candidate.

Stella Kyriakides, European commissioner for health and food safety, said that by securing a diversified range of vaccines, the EU was maximizing the chances of making sure that all citizens can have access to COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

Headquartered in France, Valneva develops a traditional inactivated coronavirus vaccine, the only such candidate in clinical trials in Europe.

On Dec. 16, 2020, Valneva announced the initiation of a Phase 1/2 clinical study for its VLA2001 COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The study was conducted in Britain. The company expects initial regulatory approval in the fourth quarter of 2021.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 12.