The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Serum Institute of India (SII) on Tuesday, July 13, announced plans to start manufacturing Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines in India from September. RDIF, which promotes the Russian vaccine globally, said that they are planning to produce more than 300 million doses of vaccine every year in India.
RDIF, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, said that SII has already received cell and vector samples from the Gamaleya Centre, Russia, reported The Indian Express. "With their import approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the cultivation process has begun," the statement said. The Sputnik V vaccine, developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, was granted emergency use authorisation in India in April, amid an acute shortage of vaccines in some parts of the country and a record surge in coronavirus cases.
Adar Poonawala On The New Deal
Adar Poonawala, CEO of SII, expressed his delight over the partnership. He said that he hopes SII will make millions of doses of Sputnik V in the coming months, with trial batches starting in September. Poonawala said that the Sputnik V vaccine has high efficacy and a good safety profile. Therefore the vaccine must be accessible in full measure for people across all parts of India and the world.
Poonawala also highlighted the importance of collaboration between international institutions and governments to bolster up the fight against the coronavirus.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the RDIF, said that the strategic partnership is a significant step to increase production capabilities substantially. He added that the partnership a perfect example of collaboration to save lives in India and around the world. Dmitriev also said that the transfer of technology is underway, and the first batch produced jointly with SII is expected in the coming months.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories Producing The Vaccine
Presently, the vaccine is being produced by Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd in India. The Hyderabad-based company received close to three million doses of Sputnik V from RDIF. Dr Reddy's has a pact with RDIF to sell 120 million doses (250 million vials) in India.
On Monday, Dr Reddy's said that it had expanded manufacturing the vaccine to over 50 other cities and towns in India. The Hyderabad-based drugmaker added that it would strengthen the commercial rollout of Sputnik V in the coming weeks. The Centre has fixed the price of one dose of Sputnik V vaccine at ₹1,145. According to the international weekly medical journal, The Lancet, the Russian vaccine has an efficacy of 91.6 per cent.