Valneva and IDT Biologika end COVID vaccine CDMO contract

Valneva has ended its manufacturing partnership with IDT Biologika following a reduction in demand for its COVID-19 vaccine VLA2001 from the European Commission.

In November 2021, French vaccine developer Valneva signed an advance Purchase Agreement (APA) with the European Commission (EC) to supply up to 60 million doses of its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001, over a two period.

Valneva was set to deliver 24.3 million doses during the second and third quarters of 2022, with contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) IDT Biologika supplying bulk batches of the vaccine from its site in Dessau, Germany.

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However, the EC amended its order in August, reducing the purchase to 1.25 million doses for use in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland and Bulgaria.

As such, Valneva has suspended its contract with IDT Biologika and is paying the CDMO up to €36.2 million in cash and the equivalent of €4.5 million in kind, in the form of specified equipment purchased by Valneva as compensation.

Valneva’s share price dropped 14% when markets reopened following the announcement.

The COVID-19 vaccine uses the Vero-cell platform, which uses an inactivated whole-virus approach where live virus is grown in cell culture and then inactivated (i.e. making it unable to replicate and infect cells) via chemical treatment. It is the same tech as used in Valneva’s Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine, Ixiaro, approved in Austria, Canada, UK, US, France, and Nordic nations.