The biotech Valneva, based in Atlantic France, announced a partnership with US company Dynavax in order to create a vaccine candidate for Covid-19 called VLA2001. Clinical trials may start before the end of 2020.
Millions of people in the world were infected by the novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The pandemic could last until a vaccine is available, so many research labs and innovative companies are working on solutions.
An inactivated vaccine created from existing technologies
The biotech Valneva believes that the fastest way is to create an inactivated virus vaccine (Vero-cell based) associated with an adjuvant, and using existing solutions. The project has been named VLA2001.
The company, whose headquarters are in Saint-Herblain (near Nantes), will therefore leverage its Scottish production platform in Livingstone where lxiaro is produced, its vaccine against Japanese encephalitis, and a vaccine candidate for chikungunya.
In partnership with a US firm
Valneva also announced a partnership with the American company Dynavax which will bring its technologies to the project and the CpG 108, an adjuvant used in its hepatitis B vaccine which has been on the market since 2018 after being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Although different vaccine technologies are being deployed in the global effort to combat COVID-19, we believe that a proven approach is the best option for rapidly delivering a safe and effective vaccine”, explained Wolfgang Bender, Ph.D., M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Valneva.
Aiming for a quick start for clinical trials
Valneva and Dynavax will work with the regulatory authorities in order to make the vaccine available as soon as possible. The announced objective is to initiate clinical trials before the end of 2020.