RDIF expects 50 Mn doses a month of Sputnik V vaccine production in India

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(Eds: updating with more quotes and details) Hyderabad,Apr 13 (PTI) The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Tuesday said it expects over 50 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine to be manufactured in India by this summer.

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on Monday registered the vaccine under the emergency use authorization procedure, based on results of clinical trials in Russia, as well as positive data of additional Phase III local clinical trials in India conducted in partnership with Dr Reddy's Laboratories.

RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev, in a virtual press conference, said besides five drug companies that the Russian firm had ties ups with, they are looking at a couple of more firms for the possible production pacts.

'We almost think Sputnik V is an Indian-Russian vaccine, because lots of production of sputnik V will be done in India.

We publicly announced five production partnerships in India with some of the largest Indian pharmaceutical companies,' Dmitriev said.

According to an earlier release, RDIF has agreements with India's Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech aimed at production of more than 850 million doses per year.

'We believe more than 50 million doses a month (to be manufactured) in the summer (in a couple of months). This is our plan.

By summer we expect to manufacture 50 million doses or more of Sputnik V a month in India.

This isbased on the very strong vaccine manufacturing capability thatIndia was able to build,' he said.

Replying to a query, he said some of the Indian firms have already started production of the vaccine under strict quality checks.

In September 2020, Dr. Reddys and RDIF entered into a partnership to conduct clinical trials of the Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the rights for distribution of the first 100 million doses in India.

Later it was enhanced to 125 million.

'We do not intend to buy equity stakes in those production companies, but we do obviously finance some of the working capital so that they can ramp up production very quickly, Dmitriev said, to a query on investments inthe Indian firms to ramp up the vaccine production.

He said Sputnik V is one of the only three vaccines in the world with an efficacy of more than 90 per cent, which was confirmed not just in clinical trials, but also based on real world use in Russia, Argentina, Mexico and other countries.

Sputnik V will be the third vaccine to be used in India against coronavirus.

In January, DCGI had given the emergency use authorisation for two COVID-19 vaccines -- Covaxin of Bharat Biotech and Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca manufactured by Serum Institute of India in Pune. PTI GDK APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR