India to be involved in Russia’s Sputnik vaccine

The Phase 3 clinical trials will be held in India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Brazil, the Philippines

India to be involved in Russia’s Sputnik vaccine

Photo for representation

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 11

India will get a piece of the action as Russia enters the last mile of producing the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine.

The Phase 3 clinical trials will be held in many countries, including India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Brazil and the Philippines. This will be followed by mass production in other countries in partnership with local financing companies.

“The countries identified include India besides South Korea, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Cuba,” said CEO of Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev.

The plan is to ramp up the vaccine production to 20 crore doses by the end of 2020, excluding 30 crore doses in Russia, said Dmitriev whose fund was performing a critical function of bankrolling the research.

India was among the first lot of 20 countries that had expressed interest in obtaining the Sputnik V, he said.

India already has had fruitful partnerships in the past with the US, both in supply chain management and joint research.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have discussed the need to strengthen global pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturing and supply chains, an area where Russia does not have traditional expertise.

According to Dmitriev, the results of the first two phases of clinical trials, to be published this month, will provide detailed information about the vaccine.

India’s Serum Institute, Panacea Biotech, Shanta Biotech and Biological E Limited are in line for taking up manufacturing orders.

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