Up to 100 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine could be made at a facility in West Lothian.
A deal has been struck in principle between the UK Government and Valneva, a specialty vaccine company, to manufacture a coronavirus vaccine candidate in Livingston.
The partnership was announced as part of the government’s Covid-19 vaccine response programme, which aims to secure early access to promising candidates.
It means the government is expected to contribute to the cost of clinical studies and is negotiating funding to expand Valneva’s Scottish facility. The move could also create a number of jobs in the town.
The doses would be intended for distribution in the UK and internationally.
Thomas Lingelbach, CEO of Valneva, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to participate in this important programme with the UK Government.
“This recognises the strong track record and capabilities that we have built in the last 15 years both in the UK and beyond.
“Our Livingston facility has been FDA approved for over a decade and we have a strong team both there and in Solna (Sweden).
“We also envisage manufacturing vaccines to support the need for prevention of Covid-19 beyond the UK.”
UK Government business secretary Alok Sharma said: “The hunt to find a vaccine is a truly global endeavour and we are doing everything we can to ensure the British public get access to a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.
“This new partnership with some of the world’s foremost pharmaceutical and vaccine companies will ensure the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk.
“The public can also play their part in vaccine research through the new NHS vaccine research register. By signing up and participating in important clinical studies, together we can speed up the search for a vaccine and end the pandemic sooner.”