Scottish Enterprise has scaled back a $25m grant to Valneva after the firm reduced its workforce on the back of a drop in COVID demand.

Sara Healy

December 4, 2023

2 Min Read
With reworked gov grant, it’s back to business for Valneva Scotland plant
Valneva's plant in Livingston, Scotland, UK. Imag c/o Google

Scottish Enterprise has scaled back a $25 million grant to Valneva after the French firm reduced its workforce on the back of a drop in COVID vaccine demand.

In early 2022, Scottish Enterprise – a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government investing in businesses in Scotland – announced a £20 million ($25 million) grant to support vaccine company Valneva.

Of this, £12.5 million would be destined to support the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, and £7.5 million to boost manufacturing research and development for other products.

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Valneva’s plant in Livingston, Scotland, UK. Imag c/o Google

However, Valneva has only received £4.3 million and will now only receive £11.8 million after Scottish Enterprise renegotiated and proposed a new grant that would take into account changes experienced at Valneva’s Almeida manufacturing plant in Livingston, on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Valneva acquired the plant in 2013 through its merger with Intercell Biomedical. During the pandemic, the plant was expected to play a major part in the European Union’s pandemic response, with an order of 60 million of Valneva’s inactivated, adjuvanted vaccine placed.

But in May 2022, the EU reduced the order to just 1.25 million, triggering Valneva to reduce its workforce by 20-25% workforce reduction across Europe, equating to 80 jobs in Scotland.

“At this point in time, we have not decided what we are going to do with this factory,” said CEO Thomas Lingelbach at the time. “Hence, we will keep the factory in a so-called warm stage. And this warm stage comes at a cost and which we have not disclosed and cannot disclose at this point in time.”

The readjusted £11.8 million grant will be put towards the research and production of Valneva’s Chikungunya vaccine – approved by the US last month – and Japanese Encephalitis vaccine.

The grant will also allow the mothballed Almeida plant to come back to a fully operational status, and not go the way of Valneva’s Stockholm, Sweden-based multipurpose facility, which was sold earlier this year to contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) NorthX Biologics for an undisclosed fee.

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