Europe Considers Purchasing Millions of Inactivated, Adjuvanted COVID-19 Vaccines
France-based Valneva SE announced on January 12, 2021, it is in advanced discussions with the European Commission for the supply of up to 60 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, VLA2001, the only inactivated vaccine candidate in clinical trials against COVID-19 in Europe.
The experimental VLA2001 vaccine consists of inactivated whole virus particles of SARS-CoV-2 with high S-protein density, combined with two adjuvants, alum and CpG 1018. This adjuvant combination has consistently induced higher antibody levels in preclinical experiments than alum-only formulations and has shown a shift of the cellular immune response towards Th1. CpG 1018 is a component of the U.S. FDA-approved HEPLISAV-B® vaccine.
VLA2001 is produced on Valneva’s established Vero-cell platform, leveraging the manufacturing technology for Valneva’s licensed Japanese encephalitis vaccine, IXIARO®. The process, which has already been upscaled to the final industrial scale, includes inactivation with BPL to preserve the native structure of the S-protein. And, VLA2001 is expected to conform with standard cold chain requirements (2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius), says the company.
Thomas Lingelbach, Valneva's CEO, said in a press statement, “Today’s announcement helps to ensure that millions of Europeans potentially have access to a proven and well-established inactivated vaccine approach, upon approval of the VLA2001 COVID-19 vaccine."