Valneva’s Covid-19 vaccine produces a higher immune response with much fewer side effects than the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, according to trial results published a month after the UK cancelled its billion-dollar deal with the French vaccine company.
The first results from the phase 3 trial revealed that participants who received the Valneva vaccine had higher levels of neutralizing antibodies than those who received the AstraZeneca shot.
The immune responses were “both impressive and extremely encouraging,” said Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol and trial chief investigator
“This is a much more traditional approach to vaccine manufacture than the vaccines so far deployed in the UK, Europe and North America and these results suggest this vaccine candidate is on track to play an important role in overcoming the pandemic,” he said.
According to Valneva, its latest trial included 4,012 participants aged 18 and older across 26 trial sites in Britain.
The shots were given four weeks apart. Patients reported fewer side effects at the injection point and overall, according to the study. Teenagers are now being recruited for the project.
The firm did not provide much information about the trial, which intended to demonstrate that Valneva’s vaccine generated more neutralising antibodies than Astra’s two weeks after the second injection.
Valneva stated that it was planning for trials in children aged 5 to 12, as well as a Valneva-sponsored trial to assess VLA2001’s performance in those in need of a vaccine booster dose.
Valneva shares plunged 42% in a single day last month after the UK government announced it was terminating its contract to purchase at least 100 million doses of the vaccine.
The government accused the vaccine maker of breaching the contract, which Valneva firmly rejected. The UK government had invested in Valneva’s Scottish manufacturing plant in order to boost domestic vaccine production.
When the investment was announced in August 2020, then-business minister Kwasi Kwarteng referred to the factory as a “vaccine production powerhouse.”
But this latest news fuels a jump of 37.5% in early session trading of Valneva’s shares.
However, Downing Street stated last month that because the vaccine had not yet been approved by the UK authority, it will not be included in the rollout this autumn and winter.
Image Credit: GEtty