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Dr Reddy's inks deal with Russia to vaccinate India
To distribute 100 million doses of Sputnik vaccine
New Delhi: The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia's sovereign wealth fund, has tied up with the Hyderabad-based pharma firm Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd (Dr Reddy's) to supply 100 million doses of Sputnik V — the Covid vaccine developed by Russian researchers — in India once it has received all the necessary regulatory clearances.
Dr Reddy's will perform phase 3 clinical trials — where a vaccine is tested on thousands to establish efficacy and safety — for Sputnik V in India, as required by Indian regulatory norms. "Deliveries could potentially begin in late 2020 subject to completion of successful trials and registration of the vaccine by regulatory authorities in India," the RDIF said in a press statement issued on Wednesday.
"The agreement between RDIF and Dr Reddy's reflects the growing awareness of countries and organizations to have a diversified anti-Covid vaccine portfolio to protect their populations."
Sputnik V is an adenovirus vector-based vaccine that was registered by the Russian Ministry of Health on August 11. It is the world's first registered Covid-19 vaccine, and results of the phase 1 and 2 clinical trials were published in The Lancet earlier this month.
RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said Sputnik V will "provide a safe and scientifically validated option" to aid the country's battle. "We are very pleased to partner with Dr Reddy's in India. Dr Reddy's has had a very well established and respected presence in Russia for over 25 years and is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in India," he said. The RDIF has been in touch with several pharmaceutical companies in India for the manufacture and clinical trials of the vaccine but this is the first formal agreement it has signed.
Co-Chairman & Managing Director of Dr Reddy's Laboratories GV Prasad said "Sputnik V vaccine could provide a credible option in our fight against Covid-19 in India.
"We are pleased to partner with RDIF to bring the vaccine to India. The phase 1 and 2 results have shown promise, and we will be conducting phase III trials in India to meet the requirements of the Indian regulators," he added.