This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Rebecca Lumley
22 Jun 2022

Valneva stock jumps as Pfizer invests more than €90M to support Lyme disease vaccine trial

VLA15 is the only Lyme disease vaccine candidate currently in clinical development 

Pfizer has agreed to pay €90.5 million for an 8.1% stake in French vaccines company Valneva, with whom they have been collaborating on a Lyme disease vaccine candidate.  

Pfizer will buy the stake in Valneva at a price of €9.49 per share, via a reserved capital increase. The move caused a sharp rise in Valneva’s share price, surging to a high of €12.69 on Wednesday.   

Valneva and Pfizer also updated the terms of their collaboration and license agreement which they announced on April 30, 2020 for the Lyme disease vaccine candidate VLA15. Pfizer plans to initiate the Phase 3 study of VLA15 in the third quarter of 2022.  

Earlier this year, the companies announced that the multivalent protein subunit vaccine was immunogenic in adults after a three-dose series in the Phase 2 study called VLA15-221, which built on evidence from earlier studies. They also noted that the vaccine candidate was more effective in children than in adults. VLA15 is the only Lyme disease vaccine candidate currently in clinical development. 

Under the revised deal, Valneva will now fund 40% of the remaining shared development costs compared to the previously agreed 30%. Pfizer will pay Valneva tiered royalties ranging from 14% to 22%. Additionally, the royalties will be complemented by up to $100 million in milestones payable to Valneva based on cumulative sales.  

Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach commented: ‘Pfizer’s investment in Valneva highlights the quality of the work that we’ve done together over the past two years and is a strong recognition of Valneva’s vaccine expertise. This subscription agreement will contribute to our investment in the Phase 3 study while limiting the impact on our cash position.’ 

Kathrin U. Jansen, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research & Development at Pfizer, added: ‘As the geographic footprint of Lyme disease widens, the medical need for vaccination becomes even more imperative. We are excited to continue partnering with Valneva on the development of VLA15 and look forward to working together to progress the program with the goal of bringing forward a vaccine that could help prevent this debilitating disease.’ 

According to Pfizer, there are an estimated 600,000 cases of Lyme disease across North America and Europe each year. The disease spreads through bites from infected ticks and early symptoms can include joint and muscle aches, fever, headaches and fatigue.  

Related News