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An expert panel of India's central drug authority has recommended granting approval to Russian vaccine Sputnik V for emergency use in the country with certain conditions, sources said. Sputnik V has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 91.6 per cent in the phase 3 clinical trial, which included data on 19,866 volunteers in Russia.

The expert committee on Monday took up the application of Dr Reddy's Laboratories seeking emergency use authorisation for Sputnik V. If approved by the Drug Controller, this will be the third vaccine to be used in India after Serum Institute of India's Covishield - developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca - and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) will take a final call on the recommendation. If approved, it will be the third COVID-19 vaccine to be available in India.

In India, Sputnik V trials are being conducted on 1,600 people between 18 and 99. Dr Reddy's partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund last September to carry out the trials.

The two-dose vaccine developed by Russia's Gamaleya Institute costs less than $10 for each shot in international markets. The dry form of the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees, experts say.

Sputnik V, which shares its name with the world’s first artificial satellite made by Russia, is an adenovirus-based vaccine that is being used by Moscow for mass inoculation. Russian President Vladmir Putin has said one of his daughters had already had two doses of the vaccine. It has also been approved in 59 countries with a total population of over 1.5 billion people.

The stock price of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories surged as much as 7.57 percent to an intraday high of Rs 5,119.90 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange. At the close of trade, the shares quoted Rs 4,989.20, up 4.83 percent.

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