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Valneva (VALN) Up as COVID-19 Jab Neutralizes Omicron Variant

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Shares of Valneva SE VALN were up 45% on Wednesday after it announced data from preliminary laboratory studies on VLA2001, its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Data from the phase I/II VLA2001-201 study showed that serum antibodies induced by three doses of VLA2001 have been able to neutralize the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Delta variant and notably, the Omicron variant. In the study, sera from 30 participants were used in a pseudovirus assay to analyze neutralization.

Out of the 30 participants, 87% had neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant, while all the participants had neutralizing antibodies against the original COVID-19 virus and its Delta variant.

This data complements the results from the phase III Cov-Compare study, which showed that two doses of VLA2001 administered as a primary vaccination induce superior neutralizing antibody levels and a broad T-cell response against COVID-19.

Shares of Valneva have skyrocketed 80.5% in the past six months against the industry’s decrease of 11.9%.

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Notably, Valneva started trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange following its initial public offering on May 6, 2021.

Valneva’s COVID-19 vaccine, currently in late-stage studies, has not yet been launched. The company plans to complete rolling submissions for VLA2001 and receive potential regulatory approvals/authorizations for the same in the first quarter of 2022.

In November 2021, Valneva entered into an advance purchase agreement with the European Commission (EC) to supply up to 60 million doses of VLA2001. The company would supply 24.3 million doses of VLA2001 to the member states of the EU in 2022. Upon potential approval by the European Medicines Agency, delivery of VLA2001 is expected to begin in April 2022.

The Omicron variant is rapidly spreading and affecting millions of people, including those who completed the primary vaccination series. With the rise in COVID-19 infection cases worldwide, there is a huge need for COVID vaccines, including booster doses.

Data from studies on Pfizer PFE/BioNTech’s and Moderna’s MRNA COVID vaccines demonstrated that the booster doses of the same have elicited effectiveness against the Omicron variant. Earlier this month, AstraZeneca AZN announced data from a preliminary analysis of an ongoing study, which showed the third/booster dose of its COVID jab, Vaxzevria, elicited increased antibody responses against the Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma variants of concern. In fact, an additional analysis of data also showed that a third dose of Vaxzevria boosts antibody responses against the Omicron variant.

Vaxzevria was developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford.

While the AstraZeneca vaccine shots are approved for use in more than 90 countries worldwide, the same is yet to be approved in the United States. Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and J&J, at present, market COVID-19 vaccines in the United States

While Pfizer/BioNTech expect to make an Omicron-specific booster by March this year, Moderna is planning to advance its Omicron-specific booster into clinical studies shortly.

Zacks Rank

Valneva currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Valneva SE Sponsored ADR (VALN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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