Russia on Wednesday agreed to supply 100 million doses of the first COVID-19 vaccine, ‘Sputnik-V’, to Indian pharmaceutical major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories as soon as it receives regulatory approval. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is collaborating with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories to conduct clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 as well as its distribution, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said.
“The RDIF and Dr Reddy''s Laboratories Ltd, a global pharmaceutical company with headquarters in India, have agreed to supply 100 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and collaborate on clinical trials and distribution of the vaccine in India,” Dmitriev told PTI .
The RDIF is in talks with Indian regulators to ensure that all the requirements for clinical trials are being met, Dmitriev said.
The deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine could begin as early as November 2020 after the registration of the vaccine by regulatory authorities in India, the RDIF chief said, adding further that it is subject to successful trials and the regulator’s approval. An RDIF official said Phase 3 trials will be conducted in India and an announcement on this is expected soon.
The Sputnik V vaccine has been developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and RDIF. The vaccine uses a two-vector technology and it does not contain live human adenoviruses, but human adenoviral vectors, or genetically modified viruses, which are unable to reproduce and are completely safe, RDIF said.
Through the use of two different vectors - based on human adenovirus serotypes Ad5 and Ad26 - in two separate shots, it is possible to achieve a more effective immune response, Dmitriev said. He said additional clinical studies of Sputnik V will be conducted in several countries, including Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Belarus.
Moreover, the Union Health Ministry had earlier noted that the Russian government reached out to India for partnership in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The Indian embassy in Moscow has already been engaging with the Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed the cure for the deadly virus.
(With inputs from PTI)