Valneva and Scottish Enterprise in discussions for £20 million grant
Valneva SE, a specialty vaccine company, has announced that it is in advanced discussions with Scottish Enterprise for a £20 million grant which will enable it to fully complete its strategic manufacturing site in Livingston.
Following the termination of the supply agreement with the UK Government (HMG) for Valneva’s inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001, Valneva paused its site plans. Valneva and Scottish Enterprise have since engaged in a highly constructive dialogue, and under the proposed grant, the Livingston site will be fully developed as a key vaccine production site for the long term.
Both Valneva and Scottish Enterprise would invest in the plant. Scottish Enterprise’s contribution is expected to be through a series of grants totalling £10-20 million to enable Valneva to commence production at the plant.
Discussions between the Company and the Scottish Government also include potential supply of VLA2001 for Scotland in the future, subject to regulatory approval. Valneva has also offered to make up to 25,000 doses of VLA2001 available for primary immunisation, free of charge, to National Health Service and frontline workers in Scotland, subject to regulatory approval. The grant is subject to contract and final due diligence and is expected to include commitments to jobs for the future in Livingston.
David Lawrence, acting chief financial officer, said: “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to advance discussions with Scottish Enterprise quickly, following the UK Government’s unexpected decision to terminate our supply agreement with them. We’ve reported excellent Phase 3 data and homologous booster data in the past couple of months, underlining the potential importance of VLA2001 – our inactivated, adjuvanted whole virus vaccine.
“Subject to regulatory approval we want to make VLA2001 available to people who need it, as soon as we can. We already have some vaccine stock available for distribution, upon approval. The grant will be very welcome and, subject to contract, will ensure that Livingston becomes a strategic vaccine manufacturing site for the future, successfully completing the work we began with HMG.”
Ivan McKee, Scottish Government minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise, added: “Valneva is a valued contributor to our life sciences sector and the Livingston facility is an important asset, developing vaccines for the treatment of several important infectious diseases and supporting high quality jobs. Ministers and Scottish Enterprise are in advanced discussions with the company to agree a package of support which would underpin the company’s operations in Scotland.”
Hannah Bardell, MP for Livingston, added: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise have listened to my constituency colleagues and I by agreeing to invest in Valneva’s vaccine manufacturing site in Livingston. This funding will enable Valneva to complete its expansion, boosting vital production capacity and protecting skilled jobs. It has been a pleasure to work with all involved in securing this agreement and I can only hope the UK Government will see the faith that we in Scotland have in Valneva.”