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World How France missed out on a Nantes start-up which manufactures a vaccine

15:05  27 january  2021
15:05  27 january  2021 Source:   europe1.fr

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La start-up nantaise Valneva devrait commercialiser à l'automne son propre vaccin contre le coronavirus. Des doses tricolores qui traverseront directement la Manche pour rallier le Royaume-Uni. Car ce sont bels et bien les Britanniques qui ont entièrement financé les essais cliniques de l'entreprise. Mais l'Union européenne veut combler son retard en commandant 60 millions de doses pour début 2022. © CESAR MANSO / AFP The Nantes start-up Valneva is expected to market its own vaccine against the coronavirus in the fall. Tricolor doses that will cross the Channel directly to reach the United Kingdom. Because it was the British who fully funded the company's clinical trials. But the European Union wants to catch up by ordering 60 million doses by the start of 2022.

With the announcement of the end of the Institut Pasteur's main vaccine project against the coronavirus , we could think that France was out of the race in the vaccination file. And yet, among the more than 200 companies around the world that jumped into a vaccine race last spring, there is Valneva. This small French start-up based in Nantes will market its own remedy in the fall. But the first doses of this tricolor company will go directly ... to the United Kingdom.

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A vaccine which uses a particular technique

And this makes perfect sense when we know that it is the British who have fully funded the clinical trials of this vaccine which uses a very specific technique. "You take a virus, you inactivate it and you keep its surface intact to generate a large number of antibodies and as varied as possible", explains at the microphone of Europe 1 Franck Grimaud, CEO of Valneva. An adjuvant is then added to the vaccine to "improve the efficacy and especially the duration of protection".

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60 million doses early 2022

A vaccine that is much easier to store than that of the American-German tandem Pfizer-BioNTech, which must remain at -80 degrees Celsius, and which can be adapted to new variants in just a few months . If it is still necessary to wait several months and the end of clinical trials to validate the efficacy of this candidate vaccine, the European Union has nevertheless shown great interest. A contract will soon be signed between the 27 and the start-up to deliver 60 million doses at the start of 2022, after the vaccine has been approved by the European Medicines Agency.

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