Pfizer to Buy 8.1 Percent Stake in Vaccines Company ValnevaBy Antonio Gozain | Tue, 06/21/2022 - 11:15
US healthcare giant Pfizer agreed to invest US$95 million to buy an 8.1 percent stake in French vaccines company Valneva. The drugmakers also announced an update to their collaboration and license agreement for the Lyme disease vaccine (VLA15).
“Pfizer’s investment in Valneva highlights the quality of the work that we have done together over the past two years and is a strong recognition of Valneva’s vaccine expertise. This subscription agreement will contribute to our investment in the Phase 3 study while limiting the impact on our cash position. Lyme disease is spreading and represents a high unmet medical need which impacts the lives of millions of people in the Northern Hemisphere,” said Thomas Lingelbach, CEO, Valneva.
Pfizer will buy the stake in Valneva, which is also working on a COVID-19 vaccine, at a price of €9.49 (US$10.02) per share through a reserved capital increase, reported Reuters. Shares in Valneva rose after the announcement, opening today at €11.00 (US$11.60).
Under the updated terms of the collaboration and license agreement announced in April 2020, Valneva will now fund 40 percent of the remaining shared development costs compared to the initial 30 percent agreement. Pfizer will pay Valneva tiered royalties from 14 to 22 percent, instead of the royalties starting at 19 percent from the initial agreement. In addition, royalties will be complemented by up to US$100 million in sales milestones payable to Valneva.
In the US alone, the CDC states that approximately 35,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year. However, the center also estimates that each year approximately between 300,000 and 476,000 people are diagnosed and treated for this disease. In Mexico, the prevalence of infection is 1.1 percent and 6.2 percent in hyperendemic zones, according to the INSP. The first reported cases of Lyme disease in the country were reported in 2007 and were thought to have occurred in La Marquesa and Nevado de Toluca, the State of Mexico.
“Lyme disease continues to place a heavy burden on countries in North America and the EU, with an estimated 600,000 cases each year across both regions,” said Kathrin U. Jansen, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine R&D, Pfizer. “As the geographic footprint of Lyme disease widens, the medical need for vaccination becomes even more imperative. We are excited to continue partnering with Valneva on the development of VLA15 and look forward to working together to progress the program with the goal of bringing forward a vaccine that could help prevent this debilitating disease.”