Morepen Laboratories has started production of the test batch of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine at its facility in Himachal Pradesh, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the domestic drug firm said in a statement on Tuesday.
The first batch will be shipped to Gamaleya Center for quality control. RDIF and Morepen Laboratories have signed a cooperation agreement in June 2021 and are actively implementing the technology transfer, it added.
"As the pandemic is yet far from over and new, more dangerous variants of coronavirus are being detected in various regions of the world, RDIF is increasing capacities for the production of Sputnik V in India, one of the key hubs," RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said.
Agreement with Morepen Laboratories provides for larger amounts of Sputnik V to be available, "both for India and our partners globally to speed up the vaccination with one of the best vaccines in the world," he added.
RDIF has already reached agreements earlier with other pharmaceutical companies - Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech - in India for the vaccine.
In total, agreements with partners in India provide for the production of more than 850 million doses of Sputnik V per year, the statement said.