Bengaluru-based firm Stelis Biopharma has tied up with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to manufacture at least 200 million (20 crore) doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. The Russian vaccine is yet to be cleared for emergency use in India.
The Russian sovereign wealth fund said both the companies intend to begin the vaccine’s supply from the third quarter of 2021. “Stelis will also continue to work with the RDIF to provide additional supply volumes beyond the initial agreement,” the Russian firm said on Friday.
Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said the agreement will help widen access to vaccines on a global level.
Stelis Biopharma is the third firm in India to have partnered with the Russian sovereign fund to produce Sputnik V vaccines, after Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma and Hetero Labs.
Another Indian firm, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, had teamed up with the Russian Direct Investment Fund in September to hold the clinical trials for Sputnik V and distribute the doses in India. Sputnik V had demonstrated an efficacy rate of 91.6% in the interim analysis of phase 3 clinical trial.
Last month, the company had sought emergency-use authorisation from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, The Indian Express reported. It submitted interim immunogenicity data and details from Russia about the vaccine’s efficacy. However, an expert committee sought complete immunogenicity and safety data.
India is currently using two vaccines – Covishield produced by Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
India on Friday recorded 39,726 new infections, taking its tally to 1,15,14,331. This was the country’s highest daily increase in coronavirus cases in over three months. With 154 deaths, India’s toll rose to 1,59,370.