Serum Institute of India (SII) has become the seventh Indian partner of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to produce the Sputnik V vaccine in the country. The first batch of Sputnik vaccines is expected to be produced at SII's facilities in September. The company plans to produce over 300 million Sputnik V doses in India per year.
SII has been the frontrunner in India's fight against the pandemic. In addition to developing its own vaccine, it is currently manufacturing Covishield (developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford), Covovax (by Novavax), and is conducting the trials of Codagenix in the UK.
"I am delighted to partner with RDIF to manufacture the Sputnik vaccine. We hope to make millions of doses in the coming months with trial batches starting in the month of September. With high efficacy and a good safety profile, it is critical that the Sputnik vaccine is accessible in full measure for people across India and the world," Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, said.
As part of the technology transfer process, SII has already received cell and vector samples from the Gamaleya Centre, which developed the Sputnik vaccine. The RDIF said the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has already approved the import of the vaccine, and now the cultivation process has also begun.
The RDIF has also signed agreements with Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech and Morepen for the production of the Russian vaccine.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said RDIF is delighted to cooperate with Serum, which is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer.
"This strategic partnership is a major step to substantially increase our production capabilities, demonstrating a perfect example of joining forces and expertise to save lives both in India and around the world. With technology transfer underway, we expect the first batches of the vaccine to be produced jointly with SII in coming months," he added.
Sputnik V vaccine has been registered in 67 countries globally, covering a total population of over 3.5 billion people. The data obtained by regulators of a number of countries during the vaccination of the population, including in Argentina, Serbia, Bahrain, Hungary, Mexico, San Marino, UAE and others, demonstrates that Sputnik V is one of the safest and most effective vaccines against coronavirus, the RDIF claimed.
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