Hyderabad-based pharma company Hetero to produce 100 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in India
In a latest update in the COVID-19 vaccine scenario, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia's sovereign wealth fund, has announced that it has joined hands with Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Hetero, through its biologics arm “Hetero Biopharma”, to produce over 100 million doses per year in India of the country's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.
According to the official statement by RDIF, the companies will begin the production of the vaccine in the beginning of 2021.
“We are pleased to collaborate with RDIF as a manufacturing partner for Sputnik V vaccine. 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. This collaboration is another step towards our commitment in the battle against COVID-19,” said B Murali Krishna Reddy, Director – International Marketing, Hetero Labs Limited, in a statement.
Sputnik V is presently undergoing Phase 2 and 3 trials in India (Image: Pixabay)
This development comes a few days after Russia-based Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology announced that its vaccine candidate, Sputnik V, showed 91.4 percent efficacy, based on the second interim analysis of Phase-III clinical trials. The vaccine candidate is the country’s and also the world’s first registered vaccine.
Currently, Sputnik V is undergoing Phase 2 and 3 trials in India. Hyderabad-based pharma company Dr Reddy's Laboratories and RDIF had received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct adaptive phase II/III human clinical trials for Sputnik V vaccine in India in October.
The vaccine candidate is undergoing Phase III clinical trials in Belarus, the UAE, Venezuela, and other countries.
The announced results revealed that the Russian vaccine candidate is unique because it uses two different vectors based on the human adenovirus, enabling a stronger and longer-term immune response as compared to vaccines using one and the same vector for two doses.
According to RDIF, requests for more than 1.2 billion doses of Sputnik V vaccine came from over 50 countries. Recently, the institute also announced that the vaccine will cost less than $10 for international markets.
"We are delighted to announce the agreement between RDIF and Hetero that will pave the way to the production of the safe and highly effective Sputnik V vaccine on Indian soil," Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev said.