RDIF, GL Rapha of S Korean biotech tie up to produce Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 13, 2020

Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V   -  PTI

Production to start in December, roll-out from January; to supply over 150 mn doses per year for global distribution

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and South Korean biotech company GL Rapha have agreed to produce over 150 million doses per year of Sputnik V, the first vaccine registered against the novel coronavirus infection.

“The parties intend to commence production in December 2020 and a roll-out of the Sputnik V vaccine in January 2021. RDIF and GL Rapha will supply over 150 million doses per year produced in South Korea for global distribution,” a note from RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said.

Recently, RDIF and Gamaleya Centre had said that interim analysis of Sputnik V vaccine data from Phase-III clinical trials in Russia has demonstrated 92 per cent efficacy. RDIF has an alliance with India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to run advanced stage clinical trials here.

Also read: 1 in 7 reported side effects after receiving Russia’s Covid vaccine: Report

Currently, 40,000 volunteers are taking part in double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled Phase-III clinical trials in Russia. Over 20,000 participants have been vaccinated with the first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine and more than 16,000 have received both the first and second doses of the vaccine, the note said.

Russia’s approval to Sputnik V had come in for criticism from certain scientific quarters, for being too rushed on the regulatory front. But RDIF said that requests had already come in for than 1.2 billion doses of the Sputnik V vaccine from over 50 countries, which it added would be supplied through international partners in South Korea, India, Brazil, China, and other countries. No details though, are available on alliances in the works from India. Existing RDIF contracts with international partners enable an annual production of 500 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine outside Russia, it added.

Also read: Now Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, claims 92 per cent efficacy

Recent information on early data from advanced trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has seen countries scrambling to stockpile the still-to-be-approved product for their citizens.

Pointing to the need for international cooperation, Kirill Dmitriev, RDIF-CEO said, “Sputnik V is based on safe and effective platform of human adenoviral vectors. As the pandemic is yet far from over, more countries are recognising the human adenoviral vector platform and plan to include these vaccines in their national vaccine portfolios.”

Published on November 13, 2020

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