A French company with a base in Scotland has signed a deal with the UK Government to produce millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Valneva SE, which has a manufacturing facility in Livingston, is to produce 60 million doses of VLA2001 in the second half of 2021 if it proves to be successful.

The firm has formed a deal with the UK Government, who then have the option to buy a further 40 million doses in 2022.

From 2023 to 2025, they can also purchase between 30 and 90 million doses.

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The €470 million deal follows the initial intent to participate in the UK Government’s Covid-19 vaccine response announced in July.

The Livingston base could become a major UK vaccine facility after investment from the government to help "scale up" producion.

Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach called the deal “transformational”.

He said:  “We made the early decision to choose a proven and well-established inactivated vaccine approach which is further validated by this partnership.

"We are honoured to have been chosen by the UK Government and are eager to partner with them to address this terrible ongoing pandemic.

"This is another transformational step for Valneva following the Lyme partnership we signed earlier this year and our chikungunya vaccine commencing Phase 3 clinical studies last week. ”

U.K. Business Secretary Alok Sharma, said: “Having visited Valneva just last month, I have seen first-hand the incredible work they are doing to develop and manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine.  

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"This new agreement could help us vaccinate millions of people across the country, as well as help create a UK vaccine manufacturing facility to speed up access to a potential Covid-19 candidate and boost the country’s resilience against future pandemics.”

HeraldScotland:

David Lawrence, Chief Financial Officer of Valneva, said: “Our proven track record and manufacturing capability in Scotland underpins this partnership. Through our recent discussions we’ve built a great working relationship with UK Government.

"I’d like to acknowledge the contributions of UK government task force and colleagues as well as other stakeholders including West Lothian, Scottish and UK politicians who are supporting the ongoing work. We see a fantastic spirit across all stakeholders to make this partnership succeed.”