Serum Institute of India to begin Sputnik V manufacturing from September: RDIF
Russia’s sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Tuesday announced that it will work with the Serum Institute of India (SII) for the production of the Sputnik V vaccine to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
This development comes in almost a month after SII sought the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) permission to manufacture the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for examination, test, and analysis at its licensed Hadapsar facility in Pune.
According to the official statement, the first batch of Sputnik V vaccines is expected to be produced at SII’s facilities in September. It is looking to produce over 300 million doses of the vaccine in India per year.
“I am delighted to partner with RDIF to manufacture the Sputnik vaccine. We hope to make millions of doses in the coming months, with trial batches starting in September. With high efficacy and a good safety profile, it is critical that the Sputnik vaccine is accessible in full measure for people across India and the world. Given the uncertainty of the virus, it is important for international institutes and governments to collaborate and further bolster up our fight against the pandemic,” Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, said in a statement.
According to RDIF, SII has already received cell and vector samples as a part of the transfer process. DCGI has already approved the import and the cultivation process has begun.
Sputnik V vaccination received emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the DCGI in April. To date, it has been registered in 67 countries globally with a total population of over 3.5 billion people. Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy's Laboratories also joined hands with RDIF to sell the first 125 million people doses (250 million vials) of Sputnik V in India.
Recently, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which soft-launched the Sputnik V vaccine in India on May 14, claimed that the vaccine has now reached across 50 towns and cities.
“The data obtained by regulators of a number of countries during the vaccination of the population, including in Argentina, Serbia, Bahrain, Hungary, Mexico, San Marino, UAE, and others, demonstrates that Sputnik V is one of the safest and most effective vaccines against coronavirus,” RDIF claimed.
According to RDIF, the efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine is about 97.6 percent. The vaccine needs to be stored at +2 to +8 degrees celsius, which means it can be stored in a conventional refrigerator without any need to invest in additional cold-chain infrastructure.
“RDIF is delighted to cooperate with Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. This strategic partnership is a major step to substantially increase our production capabilities demonstrating a perfect example of joining forces and expertise to save lives both in India and around the world. With technology transfer underway we expect the first batches of the vaccine to be produced jointly with SII in coming months,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.