Valneva Completes Recruitment of Elderly Participants in Phase 3 Trial of its Inactivated COVID-19 Vaccine
Saint-Herblain (France), September
14, 2021 – Valneva SE, a
specialty vaccine company, today announced that it has completed recruitment of the initial cohort of elderly participants in Valneva’s Phase 3 trial, VLA2001-304, of its inactivated COVID-19
vaccine candidate, VLA2001.
300 volunteers aged 56 years and older have been recruited in New Zealand into the VLA2001-304 trial with the objective to generate further safety and immunogenicity data for this age group. The cohort size has been increased to 300, from 150, in consultation with the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”). Topline data from this cohort will read out in early 2022, and it is expected that the data will support additional regulatory submissions.
Juan Carlos Jaramillo, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Valneva, commented, “We initiated this trial approximately a month ago, so we are extremely pleased to achieve this important milestone in such a short period of time. We believe that our differentiated vaccine candidate can make a major contribution to the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
VLA2001 is currently the only inactivated vaccine candidate in clinical trials against COVID-19 in Europe. In parallel to the VLA2001-304 trial in New Zealand, VLA2001 is currently being studied in the United Kingdom (UK) in a pivotal Phase 3 trial, “Cov-Compare” (VLA2001-301), for which top-line results are currently expected early in the fourth quarter 2021. Valneva has commenced rolling submission for conditional approval with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
VLA2001 is currently the only whole virus, inactivated, adjuvanted vaccine candidate in clinical trials against COVID-19 in Europe. It is intended for active immunization of at-risk populations to prevent carriage and symptomatic infection with COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic and potentially later for routine vaccination including addressing new variants. VLA2001 may also be suited for boosting, as repeat booster vaccinations have been shown to work well with whole virus inactivated vaccines. VLA2001 is produced on Valneva’s established Vero-cell platform, leveraging the manufacturing technology for Valneva’s licensed Japanese encephalitis vaccine, IXIARO. VLA2001 consists of inactivated whole virus particles of SARS-CoV-2 with high S-protein density, in combination with two adjuvants, alum and CpG 1018. This adjuvant combination has consistently induced higher antibody levels in preclinical experiments than alum-only formulations and shown a shift of the immune response towards Th1. CpG 1018 adjuvant, supplied by Dynavax Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: DVAX), is a component of the US FDA- and EMA-approved HEPLISAV-B vaccine. VLA2001’s manufacturing process, which has already been upscaled to final industrial scale, includes chemical inactivation to preserve the native structure of the S-protein. VLA2001 is expected to conform with standard cold chain requirements (2 to 8 degrees Celsius).