Covid-19: RDIF partners with Wockhardt to produce, supply Sputnik V vaccines
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said last month the production of the anti-coronavirus vaccine is expected to “come fully on stream” in September.
Global pharmaceutical company Wockhardt Limited announced on Friday its partnership with Human Vaccine LLC (HV), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to produce and supply Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The firm further said it was entering into an agreement with Enso Healthcare DMCC (Enso), a company incorporated in Dubai.
In a statement, Wockhardt said that it will “manufacture and supply to Enso up to 620 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and the Sputnik Light vaccine” against coronavirus. According to a Livemint report, the pharma company said the development came following required approvals from agencies concerned as well as “successful technology transfer from HV to the company.”
This development came a week after an Indian pharma firm, Panacea Biotec Limited, said it will produce up to 25 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine using the drug substance manufactured by Russia’s Generium. The company will then supply the vaccines to drugmaker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for distribution in India, the Livemint report added.
Quoting Russian envoy Nikolay Kudashev, news agency ANI had reported in July the single-dose Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be launched in India soon. As far as Sputnik V is concerned, the RDIF had said the vaccine’s production in the country is expected to “come fully on stream” in September.
Earlier this month, Dr Reddy’s said it had received “31.5 lakh doses of component 1 and 4.5 lakh doses of component 2 of the Sputnik V vaccine in India”. “We are working closely with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to ramp up supplies. We are also working closely with our partners in India for manufacturing readiness,” ANI reported citing a statement by the company.
Dr Reddy’s further said locally manufactured Sputnik V vaccines against Covid-19 are likely to be rolled-out in India within September or October.
The RDIF partnered with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to market the first 250 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in India. The Russian agency has also joined hands with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) among many other pharmaceutical firms for the manufacture of the anti-coronavirus vaccine. The SII will produce more than 300 million doses of Sputnik V annually starting this year itself.
The soft launch rollout of the Sputnik V vaccine began in Hyderabad on May 14, and since then it has spread to several major Indian cities, including Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, and Lucknow, among others.
The Sputnik V vaccine is a two-dose shot, but unlike other Covid-19 vaccines that also have two-jabs, the two doses of the Russian vaccine are not identical. It has been found to be 91.6 per cent effective against Covid-19 as per its third phase clinical trials. Sputnik Light is the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine.