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Sputnik V & Covishield mix-and-match results likely by July-end

Sputnik V and Covishield mix-and-match results likely by July-end

The Russian Direct Investment Fund  (RDIF) has announced that it is likely to release the ‘mix and match’ results for Sputnik V and AstraZeneca Covid vaccines  at the end of July.

RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev said at a press briefing that a high efficacy is expected to show up in the test results. 

“This approach has been really pioneered by Sputnik V in the beginning. So we are open for mix and match with Covishield in India. We believe there will be a great result. Covishield is the same vaccine as AstraZeneca so we believe that trials will show high efficacy. We hope that Serum Institute of India can produce Sputnik V and mix and match as well. It will be a true partnership,” Dmitriev.

RDIF has also entered into an agreement with Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, for the production of Sputnik V at Pune. SII produces the AstraZeneca vaccine, in collaboration with the UK pharma giant, under the Covishield brand in India. 

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The first batch of Sputnik V vaccines is expected to be rolled out from the Serum Institute factory in September, and around 300 million doses are expected to be produced every year.

“As part of the technology transfer process, SII has already received cell and vector samples from the Gamaleya Center. With their import approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the cultivation process has begun,” Dmitriev said.

Meanwhile, Indian pharma firm Morepen Laboratories has also started manufacturing the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) had said earlier this month.

The first test batch made at the company’s plant in Himachal Pradesh will be sent to Gamaleya, the Moscow institute which developed the vaccine, for quality controls.

Morepen is the second Himachal Pradesh pharma company after Panacea Biotec Ltd to produce the Sputnik V vaccine.

Panacea Biotec has just got a manufacturing licence from the Indian drug regulator for producing and distributing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine which has been cleared for emergency use in the country.

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The licence is for batches of Sputnik V produced at its facilities at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh, the company said in a statement on Sunday. These batches were earlier shipped to the Gamaleya Centre in Russia for quality checks.

Panacea Biotec began production of the vaccine in May-end, and the company plans to produce 100 million doses annually.

RDIF has signed a deal to produce 750 million doses a year of Sputnik V in India. Apart from Panacea and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Morepen labs there are three other Indian pharmaceutical companies that will also manufacture the vaccine. Serum Institute of India.

Sputnik V received authorisation for emergency use in India in April this year. The two-dose vaccine against Covid-19 was first approved in Russia on August 11 last year. With an efficacy of 91.6%, as published in the Lancet Medical Journal, the vaccine has been cleared and approved for mass use in more than 50 countries. 

Sputnik V, has been soft launched in India with the first consignment carrying 150,000 doses of the vaccine arriving in Hyderabad on May 1. The first dose was administered in Hyderabad on May 14. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is the first licensed distributor for the vaccine in India.

The vaccine is priced at ₹995.40 per shot in the market, but the price is expected to come down once the locally produced shots hit the market.