Valneva and Synairgen remain Covid laggards
While some biotechs made hay during Covid, others demonstrably failed to cash in on the pandemic. This morning two laggards, Valneva and Synairgen, reminded investors of their failings. The former’s vaccine VLA2001 did secure regulatory approval in the UK last month, but only after the country cancelled a 100 million-dose contract, citing an alleged breach of obligations. Now another contract has been terminated, this time with the EU for up to 60 million doses. Apparently the European commission could cancel this order if VLA2001 had not received marketing authorisation by April 30; such approval is still awaited after EMA requests for additional data. Meanwhile, Synairgen’s interferon beta-1a project SNG001 failed in the Sprinter study in treating hospitalised Covid patients. Now the company has carried out post hoc analyses, in one of which, in patients with compromised respiratory function (oxygen saturation ≤92% or respiratory rate ≥21 breaths/min), SNG001 “significantly reduced risk of progression to severe disease and death” versus placebo. Even so, this was on a per-protocol rather than intent-to-treat basis, and the nominal p value claimed is an underwhelming 0.046. Synairgen rose 35% this morning, still some 80% off where it was trading before Sprinter blew up.