RDIF, Virchow Biotech ink pact to produce Sputnik V vaccine in India

New Delhi: Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Hyderabad-based Virchow Biotech on Monday announced an agreement to produce up to 200 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine in India.

The technology transfer is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 followed by full-scale commercial production of Sputnik V, RDIF and Virchow Biotech said in a joint statement.

Virchow Biotech capacities will help facilitate the global supply of Sputnik V to international partners of RDIF, it added.

The agreement with Virchow Biotech is an important step to facilitate the full-scale local production of the vaccine in India and to supply our international partners globally, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said.

According to the statement, the efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6 per cent as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet.

We are glad to sign a cooperation agreement with RDIF to produce the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Virchow’s proven capabilities in large scale drug substance manufacturing should help meet the global demand for this vaccine, Virchow Biotech MD Tummuru Murali said.

On March 19, RDIF and India’s Stelis Biopharma said they have partnered to produce and supply a minimum of 200 million doses of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said the Covid-19 vaccination drive will be extended in the coming days and assured that there should not be any misconceptions about the two Indian vaccines being administered in in the country.

During the Question Hour in Lok Sabha, Vardhan said India has vaccinated 3.5 to 4 crore people so far and side effects of the vaccines has been recorded at 0.000432 per cent.

Every vaccine doesn’t require universal immunisation and all these priority groups whom we are vaccinating today like healthcare staff first and then senior citizens and people aged between 45 and 59 years, it will be extended in the coming days – all these are based on experts’ opinion. Not only Indian experts, but we have also consulted WHO guidelines regarding priority groups, he said.

Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin have been currently approved for restricted emergency use in India.


NT Bureau