Panacea Biotec was the first company to locally manufacture the Russian Covid-19 vaccine in May this year. (Reuters file)
Panacea Biotec was the first company to locally manufacture the Russian Covid-19 vaccine in May this year. (Reuters file)

Covid-19: Panacea Biotech supplies 1 million Sputnik V doses

The batch comprises one million doses of the second component of the two-dose vaccine, and with that the possibility of more doses of the Russian-made vaccine to be administered as part of the national Covid-19 immunisation programme would increase
By Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 08, 2021 02:08 AM IST

Indian pharma and vaccine major Panacea Biotec has supplied first batch of the Russian made anti-coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine, Sputnik V, manufactured in India for distribution and sale locally, the company announced on Tuesday.

Panacea Biotec was the first company to locally manufacture the Russian vaccine in May this year.

The batch comprises one million doses of the second component of the two-dose vaccine, and with that the possibility of more doses of the Russian-made vaccine to be administered as part of the national Covid-19 immunisation programme would increase.

“The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) and Panacea Biotec Ltd. (Company), one of India’s leading vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturers, announce supply of the 1st shipment out of 1 million doses of the second component (human adenovirus serotype 5) of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Panacea Biotec for sale in India,” said the company in a statement.

Sputnik V is made by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, and marketed globally by Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Doses of the second component of Sputnik V have been manufactured at the Panacea Biotec’s state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility in Himachal Pradesh.

The company received necessary clearance from the Central Drug Laboratories (CDL), Kasauli on August 31, 2021.

According to the company statement, full-scale production of the vaccine doses started at Panacea Biotec’s facilities this summer. The facilities comply with good manufacturing practice standards and are prequalified by WHO (World Health Organisation).

“Panacea Biotec is pleased to have successfully produced and dispatched the first batch of Component II (Ad5) of Sputnik V vaccine. More batches are currently under production at our manufacturing facility in Himachal Pradesh,” said Rajesh Jain, managing director, Panacea Biotec.

According to earlier statements, RDIF and Panacea have agreed to produce 100 million vaccine doses per year.

The current batch of one million will be distributed in India through Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, a partner of RDIF and Panacea Biotec.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has partnered with RDIF to be the brand custodian of the Sputnik V vaccine in India, and has the sole distribution rights of the first 250 million doses of the vaccine in India.

“As announced by our partners, the RDIF and Panacea Biotec, supply of the second dose component manufactured by Panacea Biotec has now commenced. Dr. Reddy’s has initiated supply of the first dose component to partner hospitals all over India followed by equivalent quantities of the second dose component. With more batches of the second dose component to follow from the manufacturing site, we expect this momentum and supply to continue…,” said a spokesperson of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

On availability of Sputnik V vaccine, Dr Reddy’s said, “For a comprehensive list of cities, towns, and hospitals where dose 1 of sputnik V vaccine is available, please visit www.drreddys.com/sputnik-vaccine. Currently in India, the vaccine is administered in two doses with a 21-day gap. Both doses should be taken from the same hospital.”

India is the leading production hub for Sputnik V vaccine, with RDIF having reached agreements with a number of local pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing about 850 million doses to be produced annually. Besides Panacea Biotec, RDIF has tied up with Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech and Morepen for production of the Russian vaccine.

Sputnik V was registered in India under the emergency use authorisation procedure on April 12, 2021 and vaccination against coronavirus with the Russian vaccine started on May 14.

Efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine is 97.6%, based on the analysis of data on coronavirus infection rate in Russia among those vaccinated with both components of Sputnik V from December 5, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

The vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors and uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots.

India has so far vaccinated over 700 million beneficiaries with Covid-19 vaccine, of which 531 million have received at least one dose till Tuesday, according to CoWIN dashboard.

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