U.K. Exercises Option for 40 Million Valneva Covid Vaccine Doses

Valneva SE, a French vaccine developer, said the U.K. government has exercised an option to order 40 million extra doses of its experimental coronavirus shot for next year.

The commitment brings the size of the U.K.’s order to 100 million doses, Valneva said in a statement on Monday. Britain could still buy 90 million more doses for delivery between 2023 and 2025, bringing the value of the contract to as much as 1.4 billion euros ($1.7 billion) if all the options are exercised.

Vaccines appear to offer governments the only way out of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 2.2 million people worldwide. The emergence of new variants means immunizations may need to be tweaked or administered more often to boost resistance.

The additional doses ordered “give us future flexibility in the event that we would need to revaccinate part of the population,” Clive Dix, who chairs the U.K.’s vaccines taskforce, said in the statement.

Valneva shares rose as much as 10% in early Paris trading, bringing the gain this year to 33%.

Valneva’s vaccine is manufactured in Scotland, and early clinical tests are taking place in England. Roughly 150 patients aged 18 to 55 have been recruited to receive two injections three weeks apart. Three dosing strengths are under review and the first study results should come in April, the company said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.