The French drugmaker is in talks with a potential partner on producing an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine that targets new variants of the disease, sending its shares up. Valneva has struggled to bring its COVID-19 vaccine to market to compete with rival products from drugmakers such as AstraZeneca, Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer.
As of Thursday, 4.4 million people had received redesigned COVID-19 booster shots, a few weeks into the government’s new vaccination campaign.
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Combined with 105 million doses the government already agreed to buy from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE for $3.2 billion, the latest deal puts the U.S. booster dose supply at about 171 million shots.
Sanofi said an upgraded version of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate the French drugmaker is developing with GSK showed potential in two trials to protect against the virus’s main variants of concern, including the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 strains, when used as a booster shot.