Pharma major Dr Reddy's Laboratories has shut down all its production facilities across the world after a data breach was reported in its servers. This comes just days after the pharmaceutical giant received the approval from the Drugs Controller General of India to conduct the phase 2/3 trials of the Russian vaccine in India.
The company in a statement to the stock exchanges said it has isolated all data centre services in wake of the cyber attack. "In the wake of a detected cyber-attack, we have isolated all data centre services to take required preventive actions," it said. Mukesh Rathi, CIO, Dr Reddy's Laboratories said the company expects to restart all its services in the next 24 hours. "We are anticipating all services to be up within 24 hours and we do not foresee any major impact on our operations due to this incident," said Mukesh.
Dr Reddy's has pharmaceutical plants across India, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Brazil. The cyber-attack, according to reports, happened around 4-5 pm (the US time) or 2.30 am IST last night.
Dr Reddy's has partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct trials and distribute vaccine in India. Earlier, the company had reapplied for the permission of DCGI to conduct these trials of the Russian coronavirus vaccine candidate Sputnik V in India. This will be a multi-centre, observer-blind, randomised and controlled study.
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation's Subject Expert Committee on COVID-19 had earlier this month asked Dr Reddy's to re-apply with a reworked proposal, stating that it cannot directly conduct phase 3 trials in India. The panel suggested the Russian COVID-19 vaccine should be tested for safety and efficacy in a smaller trial first.
The cyber-attack on Dr Reddy's Laboratories is second such attack on a pharma company in the past two months. In September, Chinese hackers reportedly stole data from Spanish labs working on coronavirus vaccine. In July, two Chinese individuals were charged with stealing a huge amount of crucial data at the behest of the Chinese government. The stolen data also comprised crucial information regarding Covid-19 vaccine trials and the development process.
Meanwhile, Dr Reddy's Laboratories' stock is about 2.96% or Rs 149.20 down at Rs 4,897.55 compared to the previous session's close of Rs 5,046.75 on the National Stock Exchange.