Sputnik V vaccine: Panacea Biotec, RDIF begin production

Our Bureau | | | Updated on: May 25, 2021

Vials containing Sputnik V vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) made with ingredients and technology supplied by Russia are seen at Brazilian pharmaceutical company Uniao Quimica in Guarulhos, Brazil May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli | Photo Credit: AMANDA PEROBELLI

Panacea will manufacture 100 million doses of the Russian vaccine per year

New Delhi-headquartered pharmaceutical company Panacea Biotec has launched the production of Russian Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, according to a statement issued by Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Monday. Panacea will manufacture 100 million doses of the Russian vaccine per year.

First batch

The first batch, produced at Panacea Biotec’s facilities at Baddi, will be shipped to the Gamaleya Center (the Moscow institute which developed the vaccine) for quality control checks.

“Full-scale production of the vaccine is due to start this summer,” said the statement, adding that the company’s facilities comply with GMP standards and are pre-qualified by the WHO, the statement added.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), approved Sputnik V under emergency use on April 12. Vaccination against Covid with the Russian jab began on May 14 in India.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF, said: “...Production of Sputnik V supports efforts of India’s authorities to leave behind the acute phase of Covid as soon as possible while the vaccine will also be exported at a later stage to help prevent the spread of the virus in other countries around the world.”

Sputnik V at Panacea Biotec sites will be supplied to the international partners of RDIF. The company has production facilities at Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Lalru (Punjab) and Delhi.

Efficacy at 91.6%

The efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6 per cent as confirmed by the data published in The Lancet , one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals, said the company in a release on April 5. Rajesh Jain, Managing Director, Panacea Biotec , said: “This marks a significant step as we initiate production of Sputnik V. Together with RDIF, we hope to help bring a sense of normalcy back to people across the country and around the world.”

Other partners

RDIF has also partnered other Indian pharmaceutical companies, including Stelis Biopharma, Gland Pharma and Virchow Biotech Private Limited, to manufacture Sputnik V. To date, Sputnik V has been registered in 66 countries, with a total population of over 3.2 billion people, said the statement, adding that the efficacy of Sputnik V is 97.6 per cent based on the analysis of data on Coronavirus infection rate among those vaccinated in Russia with both components of Sputnik V between December 5, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

“The vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, and uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots,” the statement said.

“The storage temperature of Sputnik V at +2+8 C, which means it can be stored in a conventional refrigerator without any need to invest in additional cold-chain infrastructure.

“The price of Sputnik V is less than $10 per shot, making it affordable around the world,” the statement added.

Published on May 24, 2021
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