Moscow: Russia’s wealth fund has agreed to supply 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik-V to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. It is a part of Moscow’s plan to distribute Sputnik-V to some of its ally countries. This information was given by officials of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) here Wednesday.
The deal comes after the RDIF reached agreements with manufacturers to produce 300 million doses of the vaccine in India. It should be stated here that India is a major consumer of Russian oil and arms.
Dr Reddy’s is one of India’s top pharmaceutical companies. It will conduct the Phase III clinical trials of the Sputnik-V vaccine in India. It will do so pending regulatory approval, RDIF said in a statement.
Deliveries of Sputnik-V to India could begin in late 2020, RDIF said. It added that everything depended on the completion of trials and the vaccine’s registration by regulatory authorities in India.
Russia was the first country to license a novel coronavirus vaccine before large-scale Phase III trials were complete. It stirred concern among scientists and doctors about the safety and efficacy of the shot.
The Phase I and II results had shown promise, GV Prasad, co-chairman of Dr Reddy’s, was cited in the RDIF statement as saying.”Sputnik-V vaccine could provide a credible option in our fight against COVID-19 in India,” Prasad added.
There was no detail about the price of the vaccine. However, RDIF has said previously it was not aiming at making a profit, just covering costs.
The agreement comes as India’s coronavirus cases surged past five million Wednesday. The situation increased pressure on hospitals grappling with unreliable supplies of oxygen that they need to treat critical patients.
The RDIF has already reached vaccine supply deals with Kazakhstan, Brazil and Mexico. It has also signed a memorandum with the Saudi Chemical company.