LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – The UK has agreed to invest in a Scottish factory that will make French biotech firm Valneva’s Covid-19 vaccine, in a move to secure domestic production of the shot.
The British government and Valneva will each invest 14 million pounds ($25.16 million) in the existing plant, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified because the value hasn’t been publicly disclosed.
The deal, announced in a statement Wednesday (Aug 5), comes two weeks after the UK secured 60 million doses of the potential vaccine from the French company, and a further 40 million if the product proves safe and effective.
Britain has reached deals for at least 250 million doses from four different vaccine developers in recent weeks, giving the country one of the highest number of Covid-19 vaccine doses per capita globally.
Valneva’s shot, which uses manufacturing technology developed for its jab for Japanese encephalitis, will enter clinical studies by year-end.
The company also plans to boost investment in its manufacturing facility in Solna, Sweden.
More than 100 people are employed at the Livingston site, with another 75 jobs available when production starts.
UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma is due to visit the plant on Wednesday.