Valneva has started mass commercial manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland. 60 million doses have already been secured for the UK, with an option to acquire a further 130 million if the vaccine is proven to be suitable.
This follows a multi-million-pound joint investment in the facility by the UK government last year, as part of an agreement in principle to secure early access to Valneva’s vaccine by the end of 2021.
This investment will now support 100 new jobs for scientists and technicians at the facility – doubling the workforce.
Valneva’s coronavirus vaccine candidate is currently in phase I/II trials and will still need to meet the necessary safety and effectiveness standards and receive regulatory approval before it is rolled out at the end of the year. However, if it is approved, manufacturing at risk now will mean that the UK can roll the vaccine out across the country quicker.
If the vaccine proves successful and receives regulatory approval following an assessment of available data, the Livingston facility will have the capacity to produce up to 250 million doses annually for shipment across the UK and around the world.
Chief Executive Officer of Valneva Thomas Lingelbach said: “We are extremely pleased to have achieved these two important milestones in such a short period of time. Our team in Scotland have done an amazing job to get manufacturing started so quickly.
“I would like to thank the UK Vaccines Taskforce and National Institute for Health Research who have played vital roles in the rapid recruitment and enrolment of the volunteers for the clinical study. We believe that our vaccine, assuming successful development, can make a major contribution in the UK and beyond.”