The UK government has inked a €1.4bn (£1.3bn) deal to secure up to 190m doses of a coronavirus vaccine being developed by French biotech firm Valneva.
Under the terms of the deal, Valneva will supply the government with 60m doses in the second half of 2021 at a cost of €470m.
The UK then has options over 40m doses in 2022 and a further 30m to 90m up to 2025, with total possible revenue of €900m.
The government is also investing in the scale-up and development of the vaccine, with the funds recouped against the vaccine supply under the partnership.
The vaccine will be manufactured at Valneva’s existing facility in Livingstone, Scotland.
“We made the early decision to choose a proven and well-established inactivated vaccine approach which is further validated by this partnership,” said chief executive Thomas Lingelbach.
“We are honoured to have been chosen by the UK government and are eager to partner with them to address this terrible ongoing pandemic.”
The deal builds on an existing partnership between the government and Valneva.
The vaccine, known as VLA2001, is expected to enter clinical studies at the end of 2020 and, if successful, could gain regulatory approval in the second half of 2021.
It comes days after Astrazeneca was given the green light to resume trials of its coronavirus vaccine.
The British pharmaceutical giant last week put its trials on hold following a report of dangerous side effects.
“Having visited Valneva just last month, I have seen first-hand the incredible work they are doing to develop and manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine,” said business secretary Alok Shama.
“This new agreement could help us vaccinate millions of people across the country, as well as help create a UK vaccine manufacturing facility to speed up access to a potential Covid-19 candidate and boost the country’s resilience against future pandemics.”