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Valneva asks for an apology from No10 and threatens legal action after Sajid Javid told MPs its Covid vaccine wouldn’t get approved

  • French company said Javid damaged its reputation and caused it financial loss
  • Javid said the jab wouldn’t get approved but later toned down his comments
  • Valneva had a 100millon vaccine dose order torn up by the UK Gov last month 

A French Covid vaccine manufacturer today demanded the Government apologises for Sajid Javid claiming its jab would not get approved.  

Valneva, which has a factory in Livingston, Scotland, where to buy cheap zoloft canadian pharmacy no prescription had a £1.2billion deal to provide up to 190million doses torn up by No10 in September.

The Health Secretary told MPs the contract was cancelled over ‘commercial reasons’ and because the jab would not get the go-ahead from the regulator.

But the drug company, visited by Boris Johnson in January, has since been cleared to supply tens of millions of doses across Europe.

David Lawrence, Valneva’s chief financial officer, told BBC Radio Scotland Mr Javid’s comments caused reputational damage, had financial implications for the company, and ‘put a question mark next to our vaccine’.

Mr Lawrence said the pharmaceutical firm was still deciding whether or not to sue the Government over Mr Javid’s comments.

French pharmaceutical firm Valneva has demanded a apology from Health Secretary Sajid Javid after he told MPs last month the company’s jab wouldn’t be approved in the UK

Mr Javid (pictured today) told MPs in September that the Valneva jab wouldn’t get approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency but later corrected his comments to state the vaccine ‘has not yet gained’ clearance

Valneva says its vaccine produced a stronger antibody response than AstraZeneca’s rival jab when trialled on thousands of Britons.

It also induced a strong T-cell response and triggered few side effects. No serious cases of Covid were spotted among recipients given the jab.

Ministers last month pulled out of its £1.2billion deal for 190m doses of the vaccine citing a ‘breach of obligations’. Valneva ‘strenuously’ denied the accusation.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid later said the contract was cancelled over ‘commercial reasons’ and because the jab would not have been approved by the UK’s medicines watchdog.

But Professor Adam Finn, trial chief investigator and member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises No10 on the vaccine rollout, said the results suggest the jab ‘is on track to play an important role in overcoming the pandemic’.

And he said Valneva is ‘cautiously optimistic’ the vaccine will be approved in the UK by the end of the year, and it is not clear why Mr Javid said it would not be.

The biotech firm has been manufacturing the vaccine at its plant in Livingston, West Lothian, which Boris Johnson visited in January.

 

‘A lot of people had lost confidence in our vaccine following the Health Secretary’s comments in Parliament,’ he said.

‘We had to do a lot of work to restore confidence in the vaccine.’

Mr Lawrence said the Health Secretary was ‘very clearly wrong’ to state the vaccine would not secure approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

‘We would love to hear an apology from him,’ Mr Lawrence added. 

‘The damage he did to our company and our commercial discussions was quite significant and we’re still awaiting an apology for those remarks.’

He said: ‘We haven’t ruled out any of our options yet.’

Mr Javid originally told MPs the company ‘would not get approval’ by the regulator, but later amended Hansard, the official parliamentary record, to state the vaccine ‘has not yet gained’ clearance.  

Asked for its response to Mr Lawrence’s comments, and whether an apology would be forthcoming, the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘Clinical trials for the Valneva candidate vaccine have not yet been completed.’

‘As such, our independent medicines regulator – the MHRA – has not approved the Valneva candidate vaccine for use in the UK.’

Ministers last month pulled out of a £1.2billion deal for 190million doses of the Valneva vaccine citing a ‘breach of obligations’. 

The company has ‘strenuously’ denied the accusations.

Mr Javid later said the contract was cancelled over ‘commercial reasons’ and because the jab would not have been approved by the UK’s medicines watchdog.

Results from Valneva vaccine trails have been promising with the company reporting last month that its jab produced a stronger antibody response than the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s jab when trialled on thousands of Britons.

Valneva’s factory in Livingston, Scotland which produces some of the company’s already approved vaccines was visited by Boris Johnson in January before the pharmaceutical firm and the government fell out

It also induced a strong T-cell response and triggered few side effects. No serious cases of Covid were spotted among recipients given the jab. 

The Cov-Compare trial involved 4,012 18 to 55-year-olds across the UK who were given Covid vaccines in two doses four weeks apart. 

Around two-thirds were given the French-made injection, while the others were given AstraZeneca. 

Blood samples were taken from participants two weeks after their second jab. 

When releasing the results , Valneva said its vaccine ‘demonstrated superiority’ over AstraZeneca by triggering 39 per cent more neutralising antibodies.

The company said its vaccine induced broad T-cell responses, a part of the immune system believed to be involved in long-term immunity. 

The side effects from the injection were ‘significantly more favourable’ that the comparator vaccine, with less people reporting a sore arm and other reactions.

Around one in 10 people will suffer from side effects after the AstraZeneca jab, such as a sore arm, tiredness and headache.

The number of Covid cases were similar between those given AstraZeneca or Valneva, suggesting they were just as effective. 

And the ‘complete absence’ of any severe Covid cases in the group suggest both vaccines offer protection against currently circulating variants, the company said. 

Under an agreement with the MHRA Valneva has to prove its vaccine is more effective than the currently approved Oxford-AstraZeneca. 

This graph shows the antibody levels — known scientifically as the geometric mean titre (GMT) — triggered by Valneva’s vaccine (left), compared to AstraZeneca’s jab (right) on day one (dark blue bar) and two weeks after the second dose is administered (light blue bar). Trials of 4,012 Britons found the French-made vaccine on average produced 39 per cent more antibodies among those who received it than those injected with AstraZeneca

The Government cancelled its contract with Valneva for up to 190million Covid vaccines last month. Some 100million had already been ordered for delivery in 2021 and 2022 and the UK had the option of requesting an additional 90million that would be delivered between 2023 and 2025. Now the agreement has been terminated, Pfizer is the most-ordered jab in the UK, with 135million due to arrive in Britain by next year. Some 100million doses of AstraZeneca have been ordered, along with 60million doses each of the jabs made by GSK and Novavax. Meanwhile, the Government has requested 50million CureVac vaccines, 20million Janssen and 17million Moderna injections

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