Valneva scales up its vaccine production in Scotland

French biotech company Valneva SE’s subsidiary Valneva Scotland has been awarded up to £20 million by Scottish Enterprise to advance its vaccine development at its site in Livingston.

Innovative and specialist companies right here in Scotland have been central to the global search for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. Valneva is one such example, with its drug discovery and development expertise.

The company has benefited from our ongoing support to scale up its operations and grow, particularly through access to Scotland’s highly skilled workforce.

Valneva laboratories

Support for vaccine research and development

Over the past two years, we’ve witnessed unparalleled international collaboration between industry, government and academia in the search for a vaccine against the coronavirus and the development of treatments to reduce the impact of infection.

Valneva is now scaling up its operations at its site in Livingston, where it manufactures the only whole-virus, inactivated vaccine candidate against Covid-19 currently in clinical trials in Europe. The company also plans to manufacture its single-shot vaccine against the mosquito-borne viral infection chikungunya in Scotland.

In February 2022, Valneva secured up to £20 million in R&D grant funding from Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency, to advance its vaccine development.

Thomas Lingelbach, Chief Executive Officer of Valneva, said: "This investment bolsters Valneva’s longstanding relationship with Scottish Enterprise, as well as our position at the forefront of life sciences and vaccine development in Scotland."

He added: "From the only inactivated, whole-virus Covid-19 vaccine candidate in clinical development in Europe, to the most clinically advanced vaccine candidate against chikungunya in the world, Scottish Enterprise’s investment will support progress across Valneva’s research and development portfolio – as well as jobs and growth in Scotland. We are grateful to Scottish Enterprise, and to the Scottish Government, for their continuing support."

The first grant of up to £12.5 million will support research and development related to the manufacture of VLA2001, Valneva’s inactivated, whole-virus Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The second grant of up to £7.5 million will support research and development connected to Valneva’s manufacturing processes for other vaccines.

In April 2022, Valneva's whole-virus inactivated Covid-19 vaccine was approved by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

"Valneva’s decision to develop and manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine here in Scotland is extremely welcome. It is a huge vote of confidence in our life sciences sector and its highly skilled workforce, with one of the largest and most advanced vaccine manufacturing sites in the world now firmly anchored in Scotland and set to export its life-saving vaccines across the world."

Adrian Gillespie, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise

Scotland’s history of vaccine development

The life sciences sector in Scotland has long been recognised by the Scottish Government as playing a valuable role in the Scottish economy. The sector has achieved, on average, year-on-year turnover growth of 10% since 2010 and contributes £2.4 billion GVA to the economy.

Intercell Biomedical had been producing vaccines in Livingston since 2009 and, in 2013, merged with Vivalis SA to form Valneva. Throughout this time, we’ve supported the company due to its strategic importance to the sector and the West Lothian region. Over the years, the company has received strong support from Scottish Enterprise to improve its manufacturing processes, recruit and train staff and develop international markets.

In 2016, Valneva UK secured £120,000 investment from Scottish Enterprise towards the creation of a vaccine research and development commercialisation facility at the Livingston base. This facility was specifically created to identify new vaccines that could be manufactured in Scotland. This was a contributing factor in the development of the new VLA2001 Covid-19 vaccine, which was derived from an existing Valneva vaccine already manufactured in Livingston and used to treat Japanese encephalitis.

Valneva has expanded its site in Livingston with the construction of a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant to complement its existing vaccine manufacturing facility there.

Valneva's manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland

Scottish Enterprise helped Valneva secure land beside its main production facility. Funding from Scottish Enterprise will enable the operationalisation of this new plant, as the grants will support research and development projects connected to manufacturing processes and related clinical development.

Our support helped to make Scotland the clear choice for Valneva’s expansion project. We look forward to supporting Valneva’s continued growth in Scotland and to helping the company achieve its international growth ambitions.

More on Valneva’s website

If you’d like to hear more about the experience of Valneva and why Scotland could be an ideal location for your biotech business, get in touch.

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