Russia agrees to produce COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in India
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Hyderabad: The Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, and city-based pharma group Hetero have agreed to produce over 100 million doses per year of the world's first registered COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, Hetero said on Friday.

The parties intend to start the production of Sputnik V in the beginning of 2021, through Hetero's biologics arm Hetero Biopharma," it said in a press release.

The Gamaleya Center in Russia and RDIF announced on November 24 positive results obtained during the second interim data analysis of the largest double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trials in Russia's history involving 40,000 volunteers.

Currently Phase III clinical trials are approved and are ongoing in Belarus, the UAE, Venezuela and other countries, as well as Phase II-III in India and requests for more than 1.2 billion doses of Sputnik V vaccine came from more than 50 countries.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said "We are delighted to announce the agreement between RDIF and Hetero that will pave the way to production of the safe and highly effective Sputnik V vaccine on Indian soil.

The vaccines interim clinical trial results show 95 per cent efficacy on the 42nd day after the first dose.

B Murali Krishna Reddy, Director International Marketing, Hetero Labs Limited, said "We are pleased to collaborate with RDIF as a manufacturing partner for the most anticipated Sputnik V vaccine for the treatment of Covid-19.

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."

Reddy further said the collaboration is another step towards Hetero's commitment in the battle against Covid-19 and realizing the objective of 'Make-in-India' campaign as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier in September 2020,Dr. Reddy's and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia's sovereign wealth fund entered into a partnership to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V vaccine and its distribution in India. As part of the partnership, RDIF shall supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to Dr.Reddys upon regulatory approval in India.

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