Russia agrees to produce Sputnik V vaccine in India

Vastavam web: Russia’s sovereign wealth fund and the Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero agreed to produce more than 100 million doses per year in India of the Sputnik V vaccine, according to a statement on Friday. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has been backing the vaccine and marketing it globally, plans to start production at the beginning of 2021. With final-phase trials ongoing, Indian drugmaker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., which has been testing the drug, said it expected late-stage trials to be finalized as soon as March 2021.

“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,” said Hetero director B. Murali Krishna. Earlier this week, Russia said clinical trials appeared to show the vaccine was 95% effective, similar to other international vaccine efficacy rates. Russia also said its vaccine would be priced at $10 (€8.4) per dose on international markets – less than some other registered coronavirus vaccines. Russia was the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine – dubbed Sputnik V after the Soviet-era satellite – in August. However, it did so ahead of large-scale clinical trials. Currently, the third and final trial phase is underway. Some 40,000 volunteers are involved in the testing of the vaccine, which uses two different human adenovirus vectors.