Hyderabad: Cementing Hyderabad’s position as the world’s vaccine capital, city-based Virchow Biotech Private Limited is all set to produce 200 million doses per year of Sputnik V, the world’s first registered vaccine against Coronavirus following an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Monday.
With this, Hyderabad, which is already manufacturing life-saving Covid-19 drugs like Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine and Favipiravir, will have a connection to most of the vaccines being developed and produced in the country. Four companies developing Covid vaccines in India are based in Hyderabad, including Bharat Biotech (Covaxin and the upcoming CoroFlu, an intranasal vaccine for coronavirus); Biological E, Indian Immunologicals, and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which has also been involved with the development of Sputnik V.
In a statement, RDIF said the technology transfer was expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 followed by full-scale commercial production of Sputnik V. Virchow Biotech’s capacities will help facilitate global supply of Sputnik V to international partners of RDIF, it said.
Sputnik V has been registered in 54 countries globally with total population of over 1.4 billion people. The efficacy of Sputnik V, the RDIF claimed, was 91.6% as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet, one of the oldest and most respected medical journals. The vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors and uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots.
“Vaccine partnerships are the only way to overcome the pandemic. The world continues its fight against coronavirus and we see a growing interest in Sputnik V vaccine as it is one of the most efficient vaccines available. The agreement with Virchow Biotech is an important step to facilitate the full-scale local production of the vaccine in India and to supply our international partners globally,” RFID CEO Kirill Dmitriev said.
“We are glad to sign a cooperation agreement with RDIF to produce the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. We are also happy to learn of the positive feedback that this vaccine has been receiving from all countries,” said Dr. Tummuru Murali, managing director of Virchow Biotech.