French Valneva continues to sign license agreements for its duck derived stem cell line that produces novel vaccines.
Lyon-based Valneva was formed from the 70-year old duck breeder Group Grimaud. It entered the biotech scene in 2000 as Vivalis and today is on Euronext-Paris and the Vienna stock exchange, has a market cap of about €275M and employs approximately 400 people. The company received the “Growth Champion 2014 Biotech” award at Biovision 2015.
Valneva provides an alternative to the vaccine production in chicken eggs, that is to say a duck derived stem cell line. “The industry is becoming increasingly aware that the half-century-old egg-based method of producing vaccines has major limitations,” commented Valneva’s CEO Thomas Lingelbach. To date, 35 pharma companies are betting on the duck-based vaccine production, including GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Pasteur and the animal health company Zoetis.
Today, Valneva announced two new deals that join the 5 that have already been made in 2015. The first was with the Italian pharmaceutical company Fatro for the development of two veterinary vaccines. The second concerns one of their most advanced collaborations. Japanese Kaketsuken wants to develop a novel human vaccine candidate using the duck cell line. Two of its duck-based vaccines are already approved on the Japanese market.
With all the deals, the French company is on its way to replace all the old-school techniques and improve vaccine production as a result.
[Update] Valneva just published its first semester results of 2015 and they speak in favor of the company’s duck-derived stem cell line for vaccine production. Revenues increased to €39.2 million, which is more than twice as much compared to the €16.5 million in the first half of 2014.