Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero will manufacture more than 100 million doses of Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine per year under the terms of an agreement presented Friday between it and Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund.
The move, which RDIF called a further step in its efforts to expand international manufacturing of its flagship vaccine, will see Hetero begin production in India early next year, according to a joint statement on the Twitter account Sputnik V.
The statement said phase II-III clinical trials are still ongoing in India, which with a population of more than 1.3 billion is the second most populous country in the world after China.
Although Russian authorities gave Sputnik V its regulatory approval through an accelerated procedure in August, trials are also underway in Russia, designed to assess its safety and efficacy.
“While we await the results of clinical trials in India, we believe that local manufacturing of the product is crucial to allow rapid access to patients,” said B. Murali Krishna Reddy, Hetero’s director of international marketing.
He said the deal coincided with a goal promoted by the Indian prime minister to do things in India.
The COVID-19 infection count in India is 9.27 million, the second highest in the world after the United States, with more than 135,000 deaths in the South Asian nation.
Its economy, like others, has been badly affected by the virus.
Another Indian pharmacist, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, is conducting Sputnik V clinical trials in India and has said it expects late-stage trials to be completed in March 2021.
RDIF has spoken of Dr. Reddy’s involvement in the distribution once Sputnik V gains regulatory approval in India.
Kirill Dmitriev, director of RDIF, said earlier this week that Moscow and its foreign partners had the capacity to produce more than 1 billion doses of Sputnik V starting next year, enough to vaccinate more than 500 million people, And it would cost less than $ 20 per person. person in international markets.
Friday’s joint statement said that Sputnik V phase III clinical trials were also underway in Belarus, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and other countries.
RDIF and the Gamaleya National Center said Tuesday that interim clinical trial data had shown Sputnik V to be 91.4% effective on day 28 and more than 95% effective on day 42.