Joint investment sees UK gov secure pipeline of coronavirus vaccine candidate

The UK government and biotech Valneva have jointly invested in a Scottish facility to bolster vaccine manufacturing capacity.

The multi-million-pound investment will allow the government to secure early access to 60 million doses of Valneva’s promising coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Currently more than 100 people are employed at the Livingston, West Lothian facility with a quarter of those working directly on a coronavirus vaccine. Researchers working on the vaccine’s manufacture are expected to grow in number by a further 75 as production gets underway.

If Valneva’s vaccine is proven to be safe and effective in clinical trials, the expanded Livingston facility could potentially supply up to 100 million vaccine doses to the UK and internationally.

“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,” said Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

“If clinical trials are successful, millions of people in priority groups across the UK will be protected by their life-saving vaccine.”

The Livingston facility is in addition to the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) which is currently under construction in Oxfordshire thanks to further investment from the UK government.

When completed in summer 2021, the facility will have flexible capacity to manufacture millions of vaccine doses at scale.

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