New Delhi: In September, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund that markets the vaccine internationally, announced that the Russian-made Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine, Sputnik V, would be made in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
On July 4, the drugs controller general of India (DCGI) granted a permit to SII to manufacturer small batches at its licensed Hadapsar facility, where they can be examined, tested and analyzed.
‘The first batch of Sputnik vaccine will be manufactured at SII’s facilities in September. In India, the parties plan to produce more than 300 million doses of the vaccine each year. A number of Gamaleya Center cell and vector samples have already been received by SII as part of the technical transfer process. As their import has been approved by the Indian Drug Controller General (DCGI), the cultivation process has begun,’ RDIF reported in a statement.
Additionally, SII manufactures Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, Covovax, the local name of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine and is conducting trials for Codagenix in the UK.
‘I am pleased to partner with RDIF to produce the Sputnik vaccine. We expect to produce millions of doses in the coming months, with trial batches starting in September. With a high efficacy and a good safety profile, Sputnik should be available in full measure to people throughout India and the world. Given the uncertainty of this virus, it is vital that governments and international institutes collaborate to fight the disease,’ said Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer (CEO), SII, in a statement.
In India, the largest producer of Sputnik vaccine, RDIF has signed agreements with several pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing and production of about 850 million doses per year. For the production of the Russian vaccine, RDIF has partnered with Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech and Morepen.
‘RDIF is pleased to partner with Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. As a result of this strategic partnership, we are substantially increasing our production capacity, demonstrating the power of combining forces and expertise to save lives in India and around the world. We anticipate the first batches of the vaccine will be produced jointly with SII in the coming months,’ said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO RDIF.
The Russian Sputnik V vaccine has been registered in 67 countries with a total population of over 3.5 billion people.
In the meantime, Dr. Reddy’s laboratories, a partner with RDIF, is set to begin production and distribution of Sputnik V in India next week. They announced that commercial distribution will begin in the coming week.