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RDIF inks 6th pact for its COVID vaccine in India

In its sixth alliance with an Indian company, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said that Panacea Biotec will make 100 million doses of Sputnik V annually.

The agreement on the Russian Covdd-19 vaccine comes even as expectations are high that Sputnik V’s approval in India could be sooner.

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF said that Panacea Biotec sites would “help facilitate global supply of Sputnik V to international partners of RDIF”. Till date 59 countries have registered for Sputnik V globally, with a total population of over 1.5 billion people, the RDIF said.

At present, RDIF has an agreement with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories involving local trials on the vaccine. Since then, it inked production deals with Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Strides and Virchow. The word doing the rounds is that talks are on with Serum Institute as well, though neither side has confirmed this.

With an efficacy of 91.6 per cent, the vaccine is based on a proven platform of human adenoviral vectors and uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots, it explained.

Kirill Dmitriev, RDIF-CEO said, “Vaccine partnerships are the only way to overcome the pandemic. The world continues its fight against coronavirus and we see a growing interest in Sputnik V vaccine as it is one of the best vaccines available. Cooperation with Panacea Biotec is an important step to produce the vaccine in India and to supply our international partners around the world.”

Panacea Managing Director Dr Rajesh Jain said, their vaccine manufacturing and distribution expertise will help scale-up Sputnik V supplies. The vaccine would be made at Panacea’s “internationally accredited facilities complying to strict GMP standards and prequalified by WHO,”it added.

Interestingly, Panacea had tied-up with United States-based Refana Inc last year to take forward a Covid-19 vaccine candidate through an equally partnered joint-venture in Ireland. Panacea’s promoters hold 74 percent stake in the company and Serum’s Adar Poonawalla holds over 5 percent. Hindu BusinessLine

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