On 5 August, Downing Street confirmed a multi-million pound investment in the Livingston manufacturing facility, located in West Lothian, Scotland.
UK officials reported that the government has made an agreement in principle with Valneva to secure early access to 60 million doses of a promising vaccine candidate developed in Scotland.
"The multi-million-pound up-front investment we have agreed with Valneva today means that their vaccine can be manufactured in quantity right here in Scotland. If clinical trials are successful, millions of people in priority groups across the UK will be protected by their life-saving vaccine", Business Secretary Alok Sharma said.
A manufacturing facility in Scotland will be at the heart of efforts to produce a new #coronavirus vaccine.— Dept for BEIS (@beisgovuk) August 5, 2020
Today's investment follows our agreement with @ValnevaSE to secure 60m doses of its vaccine.
Find out more: https://t.co/PbHrSSIRMj#VaccinesWork #UnleashingInnovation pic.twitter.com/Rw4iJ6KLTX
VLA2001 is a highly purified, inactivated vaccine candidate against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that uses manufacturing technology from Valneva’s Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine.
Fantastic to meet some of the highly-skilled science technicians at the @ValnevaSE factory in Livingston today. Their ground-breaking work is supporting the global effort to find an effective #coronavirus vaccine.— Alok Sharma (@AlokSharma_RDG) August 5, 2020
The inactivation process preserves the structure of the virus’s protein and is expected to induce a strong response in the immune system
If proven safe and effective, the vaccine produced in the Livingston facility could supply 100 million vaccine doses to Britain and globally.
"We are working as hard and as fast as possible to develop the vaccine to meet the UK's needs and indeed to try to address the broader need for a vaccine. We look forward to completing the final supply agreement in the next few weeks", Valneva's Chief Financial Officer David Lawrence said.
Chair of the Vaccine Taskforce Kate Bingham confirmed that there are "millions of doses of vaccine ready if they are shown to be safe and effective".
The UK government's efforts in securing a vaccine to tackle the coronavirus include agreements with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford working on adenoviral vaccines, BioNTech and Pfizer working on mRNA vaccines, and GSK and Sanofi and their vaccine candidate.