U.S. healthcare giant Pfizer has agreed to invest 90.5 million euros ($95.24 million) to buy an 8.1% stake in French vaccine company Valneva, while the companies have announced progress in their partnership to tackle Lyme disease.

Pfizer will buy the stake in Valneva, which is also working on its COVID-19 vaccine, at a price of 9.49 euros per share, through a reserved capital increase.

Valneva will use proceeds from Pfizer’s equity investment to support its contribution to the development of the Phase 3 Lyme disease program.

Valneva and Pfizer have also updated the terms of their collaboration and license agreement that they announced on April 30, 2020 for the VLA15 Lyme disease vaccine candidate.

“Pfizer’s investment in Valneva underscores the quality of the work we have done together over the last two years and is a strong recognition of Valneva’s expertise in vaccines,” said Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach.

As previously announced on April 26, 2022, Pfizer plans to start the phase 3 study of VLA15 in the third quarter of 2022, they added.

Under the revised agreement, Valneva will now finance 40% of the remaining shared development costs, up from 30% previously.

Pfizer will pay Valneva tiered royalties ranging from 14% to 22%. In addition, the royalties will be supplemented by up to $100 million in milestones payable to Valneva based on cumulative sales, the companies added.

(1 US dollar = 0.9502 euros)

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