COVID cull: Valneva cutting workforce and manufacturing ops

The discontinuation of its COVID program has led Valneva to resize its operations and question the use of its Livingston, UK facility.

French vaccine firm Valneva SE developed VLA2001, an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate, approved in the European Union (EU) in January 2022.

Despite initial orders to supply up to 100 million doses in the UK, and a further 60 million doses in Europe last year, the changing COVID-19 pandemic landscape meant Valneva’s vaccine never achieved the rollout seen with earlier approved vaccines.

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Koldunov

Following an amended order by the European Commission (EC) in August, the firm ended its manufacturing partnership with IDT Biologika in September and agreed to pay the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) up to €36.2 million ($37 million) in cash as compensation.

Now the firm has announced it is “in the progress of resizing” its operations during its recent third quarter 2022 earnings report.

“We initiated a program to reduce our workforce by 20% to 25% due to the discontinuation of our COVID program,” chief financial officer Peter Buhler said on a call. “The reduction in workforce is expected to result in annual savings of approximately €12 million and will be achieved through a combination of natural attrition and layoffs.”

Post restructuring, total workforce is expected to be approximately 25% above pre-COVID levels.

CEO Thomas Lingelbach also commented on the future of the firm’s production facility in Livingston, Scotland, which was added to Valneva through its merger with Intercell Biomedical back in 2013 and was subject to significant capacity expansions during the pandemic and received a £12.5 million ($14.7 million) from Scottish Enterprise to further manufacturing efforts earlier this year.

“At this point in time, we have not decided what we are going to do with this factory,” he said. “Hence, we will keep the factory in a so-called warm stage. And this warm stage comes at a cost and which we have not disclosed and cannot disclosed at this point in time.”

For the first nine months of 2022, Valneva reported total revenues of €250 million and a net loss of €99 million.