US healthcare giant Pfizer has agreed to invest 90.5 million euros ($95.24 million) to buy an 8.1% stake in the French vaccine company, as the two companies announced developments in their partnership to tackle Lyme disease. Pfizer will buy the stake in Valneva, which is also working on a COVID-19 vaccine, at €9.49 per share, via a booked share capital increase.
Shares in Valneva rose sharply, rising 14.5% in early trading to €9.09. Valneva will use the proceeds from Pfizer’s capital investment to support its contribution to the development of Phase 3 of the Lyme disease program. Valneva and Pfizer have also updated the terms of the Collaboration and Licensing Agreement announced on April 30, 2020, for their VLA15 Lyme disease vaccine candidate.
“Pfizer’s investment in Valneva highlights the quality of the work we’ve done together over the past two years and is a strong acknowledgment of Valneva’s expertise in vaccines,” said Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach. They added that, as previously announced on April 26, 2022, Pfizer plans to begin a Phase 3 study of VLA15 in the third quarter of 2022.
Under the revised deal, Valneva will now fund 40% of the remaining joint development costs compared to 30% before. Pfizer will pay tiered royalties to Valneva ranging from 14% to 22%. In addition, royalties will be complemented by up to $100 million in phases payable to Valneva based on cumulative sales, the two companies added.