British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited a Valneva facility in January

Paris (AFP) - French-Austrian biotech laboratory Valneva said Monday the British government has terminated a supply deal for its candidate vaccine against Covid-19.

Britain “has alleged that the company is in breach of its obligations under the Supply Agreement, but the Company strenuously denies this,” Valneva said in a statement.

Unlike most high-profile coronavirus shots, which use various methods to prime the immune system to fight the coronavirus, Valneva’s VLA2001 is based on an “inactivated” version of the coronavirus itself.

The laboratory had indicated at the end of August that on the basis of the Phase 1 and 2 trials, it hoped to have a vaccine that is more than 80 percent effective.

Britain had ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine for 2021-2022.

Valneva said Monday the contract provides the British government with the right to cancel the deal, and it had received “a termination notice from the UK Government”.

“Valneva has worked tirelessly, and to its best efforts, on the collaboration with (the British government) including investing significant resources and effort to respond to (its) requests for variant-derived vaccines.

“Valneva continues to be committed to the development of VLA2001 and will increase its efforts with other potential customers to ensure that its inactivated vaccine can be used in the fight against the pandemic,” it said.

Valneva reiterated that its Phase 3 results should be available early in the fourth quarter, and that these “will form part of its rolling submission for conditional approval of VLA2001 with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.”

“Subject to these data and MHRA approval, Valneva believes that initial approval for VLA2001 could be granted in late 2021.”