Russia agrees to produce Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in India

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Moscow: The Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund and India’s pharmaceutical company Hetero have agreed to produce over 100 million doses per year of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in India, according to a statement on Sputnik V Twitter account on Friday.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Hetero intend to start the production of Sputnik V in the beginning of 2021. Russia became the first country to register the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine on August 11.

Sputnik V, named after Russia’s first satellite, is developed by the Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology (GNRCEM) of the Russian Healthcare Ministry.

On Tuesday, the GNRCEM and RDIF declared results obtained during the second interim data analysis of the largest double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase III clinical trials in Russia involving 40,000 volunteers. “It has shown a 91.4 per cent efficacy on day 28 after the first dose while preliminary data from volunteers obtained 42 days after the first dose(corresponds with 21 days after the second dose) indicates an efficacy of the vaccine above 95 per cent,” stated a press statement issued by the RDIF.

RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said that the agreement between the RDIF and Hetero will pave the way for the production of the safe and highly effective Sputnik V vaccine on Indian soil. “We are delighted to announce the agreement between RDIF and Hetero that will pave the way to the production of the safe and highly effective Sputnik V vaccine on Indian soil. The vaccine’s interim clinical trial results show 95 per cent efficacy on the 42nd day after the first dose,” he was quoted by the statement on Sputnik V Twitter account.

“I am confident that Sputnik V should become an integral part of the national vaccine portfolio of every country willing to protect its population from the coronavirus. Thanks to our cooperation with Hetero, we will be able to significantly increase production capacity and provide people of India with an efficient solution in this challenging period of the pandemic,” he added.

B. Murali Krishna Reddy, Director – International Marketing, Hetero Labs Limited, meanwhile said that the collaboration is another step towards their commitment in the battle against COVID-19 and realising the objective of ‘Make-in-India’ campaign.

“We are pleased to collaborate with RDIF as a manufacturing partner for the most anticipated Sputnik V vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19. While we look forward to the clinical trial results in India, we believe that manufacturing the product locally is crucial to enable swift access to patients,” Reddy said.

“This collaboration is another step towards our commitment in the battle against COVID-19 and realising the objective of the ‘Make-in-India’ campaign as envisioned by our Prime Minister of India (Narendra Modi),” he added.

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