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Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to be produced in India; RDIF and Hetero agree to make over 100 million doses

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: This is the second such partnership by an Indian company with RDIF. Earlier, Dr Reddy's partnered with RDIF to conduct clinical trials, manufacturer and distribute 100 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine in India.

November 27, 2020 / 01:55 PM IST
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Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF  and drug maker Hetero have agreed to produce 100 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine every year in India.

The parties intend to start the production of Sputnik V in the beginning of 2021.

Along with Russia, 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.

This is second such partnership by an Indian company with RDIF.  Earlier Dr Reddy's partnered with RDIF to conduct clinical trials, manufacture and distribute 100 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine in India.

Interestingly, as per the partnership with RDIF both Dr Reddy's and Hetero not just supply to Indian market but also export the vaccine to other countries.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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RDIF said requests for more than 1.2 billion doses of Sputnik V vaccine came from more than 50 countries. The vaccine supplies for the global market will be produced by RDIF’s international partners in India, Brazil, China, South Korea and other countries.

Follow Moneycontrol's COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker here.

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

"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 said.

Hetero was in forefront in bringing therapies for COVID-19 such as antiviral drugs remdesvir and Favipiravir. The company along with Cipla were the first companes to be approved to sell Gilead's drug remdesivir in India.

“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," said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF.

"I am confident that Sputnik V should become an integral part of the national vaccine portfolio of every country willing to protect its

population from the coronavirus," Dmitriev added.

The Gamaleya Center and RDIF November 24 announced positive results

obtained during the second interim data analysis of the late stage clinical trials in Russia’s history involving 40,000 volunteers.

Russian authorities claimed the vaccine demonstrated 95 percent efficacy on the 42nd day after the first dose (equivalent to 21 days after the second dose).

The Russian vaccine is based on two different human adenoviruses as vectors, which the RDIF says allows for a stronger and longer-term immune response as compared to vaccines using one and the same vector for two doses.
Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: Nov 27, 2020 01:00 pm
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