Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19
The Russian Sovereign Fund RDIF on April 13 said its Indian partners will be producing 50 million doses of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine per month from summer.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the RDIF, said they are in discussion with a few more companies in India to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine.
Dmitriev said RDIF, in addition to collaboration and technology transfer, will also finance working capital and other requirements for its contract manufacturers to expand capacity.
"We do obviously finance some of the working captial so that they can ramp up production very quickly," Dmitriev said at a virtual press conference.
He said some of the partners have begun production of the vaccine.
"The quality controls are done in Russia, we ensure that there are very stringent quality controls of Sputnik manufactured by different producers. I think the real ramp-up of production capacity will take 2-3 months," Dmitriev added.
India is the leading production hub for Sputnik V. RDIF has reached agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies in the country such as Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech to produce more than 850 million doses per year, sufficient to vaccinate more than 425 million people around the world.
"We believe that Russia and India would be the largest production hubs for Sputnik V vaccine in the world, followed by South Korea and China," Dmitriev said.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), on April 13, approved the Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use, making it the third COVID-19 vaccine to be registered in India.
Dr Reddy's, which has collaborated with RDIF, conducted the bridge trial for Sputnik V and has applied for emergency use in India.
The Russian vaccine has been approved for use in 59 countries so far.
Sputnik V is one of the only three coronavirus vaccines registered by India’s regulatory authorities.
The rollout of Sputnik V will begin by end of April or early May, RDIF said. It will initially be imported before the local production kicks in.
India is currently using Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. The emergency approval of Sputnik V will help government efforts to scale up vaccination, as it struggles to contain the second wave of the pandemic. So far, India has given 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, but there were reports from many districts about shortages.