The Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will be produced by Pune-based Serum Institute of India from September, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, manufacturers of the shot, said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the RDIF said that they plan to produce 30 crore doses of the vaccine annually in India.
Technology transfer for the process has already started and the sample cells and vectors sent to Serum Institute have been approved by the Drug Controller General of India, the Russian company said.
Commenting on the deal, Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said, “[It] is an example of combining efforts and expertise to save lives in India and around the world.”
Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla said that his company expects to “produce millions of doses” once production begins in September.
Poonawalla’s company had received permission from the the DCGI last month to produce the Russian vaccine. The firm received a test licence, which means that the Serum Institute can only develop and manufacture the vaccine for testing but not sell it.
Sputnik V would be the third coronavirus vaccine that Serum Institute produces. It had started production of Covovax, a coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology company Novavax in the last week of June. Besides this, the company already produces the AstraZeneca vaccine, sold in India under the brand name Covishield.
India’s drug controller had approved Sputnik V for emergency use in April. The vaccine was developed in India in partnership with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad. Dr Reddy’s was so far the only local manufacturer of the vaccine.