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Pfizer to buy 8.1 percent stake in French vaccines company Valneva

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PARIS (Reuters) -U.S. healthcare giant Pfizer has agreed to invest 90.5 million euros ($95.24 million) to buy an 8.1% percent stake in French vaccines company, as the companies announced developments in their partnership to tackle the 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, via a reserved capital increase.

Shares in Valneva rose sharply, surging by 14.5% in early session trading to 9.09 euros.

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

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

"Pfizer's investment in Valneva highlights the quality of the work that we’ve done together over the past two years and is a strong recognition of Valneva's vaccine expertise," said Valneva chief executive Thomas Lingelbach.

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

Under the revised deal, Valneva will now fund 40% of the remaining shared development costs compared to 30% before.

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

($1 = 0.9502 euros)

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon;Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)