LONDON (Reuters) – The UK government has terminated the contract to supply around 100 million doses of Valneva’s COVID-19 vaccine, in part because it has reportedly not been approved for use in the country, said Tuesday the British Minister for Health, Sajid Javid.
“There are business reasons why we canceled the contract, but what I can tell him is that it was also clear to us that the vaccine in question that the company was developing would not be approved by the MHRA. (the British Medicines Authority) here in the UK, “he said in response to a question from a Scottish MP.
Valneva fell on the stock market on Monday after the announcement by the French biotech of the termination by London of this contract of 1.4 billion euros.
According to a company statement released on Monday, the UK government reportedly said Valneva had defaulted on its obligations, which the company vigorously disputes.
The Valneva vaccine is produced in Livingston, Scotland, using an adjuvant made by the US company Dynavax. The facility has the capacity to produce around 200 million doses in 2022.
According to Valneva, the British government had options to increase the order to 190 million doses by 2025.
Sajid Javid said the UK and Scottish governments will work together to secure the future of this factory.
Valneva, however, remains hopeful of marketing its vaccine if it manages to complete it with the European authorities with which it is in discussions.
According to a French government source, the current negotiations are at an advanced stage and relate to legal aspects. “The EU is still interested in this vaccine,” assured this source.
Brussels and Valneva had broken off in April a first series of discussions, the Union then accusing the laboratory based in Loire-Atlantique of not respecting the conditions set for the supply of doses.
On Tuesday, Valneva finished up 8.25% to 12.60 euros after plunging the day before by almost 40%.
(Report Paul Sandle; French version Anait Miridzhanian and Nicolas Delame, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot and Jean-Stephane Brosse)