Bavarian falls short of Valneva in Chikungunya
The Chikungunya vaccine candidate CHIKV VLP appeared to be the main driver of Bavarian Nordic’s $270m purchase of Emergent Biosolutions earlier this year. Now the vaccine has produced initial phase 3 efficacy data in elderly subjects that look good – but not quite as good as those seen with Valneva’s rival jab, VLA1553. With the usual caveats about cross-trial comparisons, Stifel said the results “suggest that VLA1553 has leading efficacy although CHIKV VLP has an improved safety profile”. Bavarian’s shares were flat today, while Valneva climbed 12%. VLA1553 is due an FDA approval decision by the end of August; phase 3 data in adolescents are also imminent. Meanwhile, results from a second phase 3 trial of CHIKV VLP, in subjects aged 12-65, are set for the third quarter. The overall Chikungunya market could be worth over $500m; sellside consensus compiled by Evaluate Pharma puts 2028 VLA1553 sales at $333m, versus $94m for CHIKV VLP. Whichever shot prevails, there could soon be two prophylactic options for the mosquito-borne virus, for which there are currently no treatments or vaccines.
|Battle of the Chikungunya vaccines – a cross-trial comparison|
|CHIKV VLP (Bavarian Nordic)||VLA1553 (Valneva)|
|Ph3 in ≥65 year olds||Ph3 in ≥18 year olds|
|Subjects with seroprotective virus antibody level||87%*||100%**|
|*At day 22; **Subgroup of subjects aged ≥65 at day 28; figure was 99% across all ages. Source: Company release & Lancet article.|