Valneva says early studies show COVID-19 vaccine effective against Omicron

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The logo of French-Austrian biotech firm Valneva is seen outside their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, December 16, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

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Jan 19 (Reuters) - French biotech firm Valneva (VLS.PA) said on Wednesday that preliminary studies showed that three doses of its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate neutralised the Omicron variant of the disease.

All of the serum samples tested presented neutralizing antibodies against the ancestral virus and Delta variant, it said, while 87% of samples did so against the Omicron variant.

"We are extremely pleased with these results," said Chief Medical Officer Juan Carlos Jaramillo in a statement, noting that these added to an earlier Phase III trial that showed improved immune response with two doses of the VLA2001 candidate.

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Valneva expects to receive potential approvals for its vaccine within the first three months of 2022, and is providing data to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as well as regulators in the UK and Bahrain.

Should the shot be approved in Europe, it expects to start delivering doses there in April.

Valneva's stock has slumped since the start of this year as investors worried over EMA comments on awaiting further data.

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Reporting by Sarah Morland; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Kirsten Donovan

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