India could soon become a manufacturing hub for Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, which is expected to seek regulatory approval in the country in the coming days.
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund responsible for taking the vaccine overseas, recently signed agreements with companies such as Gland Pharma, Virchow Biotech, Strides Pharma Science and Hetero, The Economic Times has said.
The development comes at a time when India is looking to step up vaccination to contain the second wave of coronavirus as infections spread at a faster clip.
RDIF has already partnered with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for clinical trials and production of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.
Virchow Biotech last week became the fourth company to tie-up with RDIF in India, agreeing to produce up to 200 million doses of Sputnik V.
“Russians have swept up unused manufacturing capacity. Many companies will be using their unused biological capacity to manufacture Sputnik V,” The Economic Times quoted the source as saying.
Also read: Will Dr Reddy’s be able to reap the benefit of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine?
“So many companies have tied up and hence the combined capacities will be much larger than any one vaccine manufacturing company in India. More companies are tying up. It is essentially using the capacities which are available in India. The companies are incentivised to take it by provision of technology transfer,” the source said.
The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) under the drug regulator is likely to consider the application of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for the vaccine on April 1, the report said.