The Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, announced on Tuesday that it would cooperate with Serum Institute of India to produce the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
In a statement, RDIF announced, "The first batch of Sputnik vaccine is expected to be produced at SII's facilities in September. The parties intend to produce over 300 million doses of the vaccine in India per year. As part of the technical transfer process, SII has already received cell and vector samples from the Gamaleya Center (which developed the vaccine). With their import approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the cultivation process has begun."
RDIF had previously reached agreements with pharmacy companies in India to produce Sputnik V. These companies were Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech and Morepen. RDIF had previously tied up with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to distribute Sputnik V.
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Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF, stated the partnership with Serum Institute 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".
Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute, noted, "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. Given the uncertainty of the virus, it is important for international institutes and governments to collaborate and further bolster up our fight against the pandemic."