Low demand for dead corona vaccine clouds the outlook

Valneva

Valneva originally hoped that the inactivated vaccine would boost sales.

(Foto: imago images/ZUMA Wire)

Wien The sluggish sales of the inactivated vaccine against Corona are dampening the prospects for the Franco-Austrian biotech group Valneva. Due to the low demand in the European Union, the sales target for the full year has to be lowered, the group announced on Thursday.

The pharmaceuticals manufacturer, based in south-west France, now expects annual sales of between EUR 340 and 360 million, having previously announced EUR 430 to 590 million. Sales of the corona vaccine are expected to reach between 30 and 40 million euros this year.

Valneva originally hoped that the inactivated vaccine would boost sales. In February, the company had announced that it was expecting revenue from the vaccine of between 350 and 500 million euros. In the first six months, however, sales brought in only 3.8 million euros and the company had to write off a good 100 million euros in connection with the production inventory.

The reason for this is that the EU reduced its order from the originally planned 60 million cans to just 1.25 million cans in July. This is due to the good supply of other vaccines to EU countries and a slowdown in vaccination programs.

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“In view of the revised order volume from the EU member states, we are examining how we can reorganize our business activities,” explained CEO Thomas Lingelbach. Further development of the current or potential second-generation Covid-19 vaccine will depend on funding or commitments received by the group in the third quarter, the group said.

Valneva’s inactivated corona vaccine has long been traded as an alternative to vaccines developed using new methods and should convince skeptics. The vaccine is made from inactive corona viruses, a method that has long been established for other vaccines.

However, approval for the vaccine in the EU had been delayed, and many people had already been vaccinated with vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca that had been approved for some time. In a Reuters interview in December, the Valneva boss said: “Unfortunately we are late, but hopefully not too late”.

More: Pfizer on a shopping spree: This is how the pharmaceutical giant wants to grow with the corona billions

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