Morepen Laboratories starts production of test batch of Sputnik V
(Sourced from PTI)
Morepen Laboratories has started production of the test batch of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine at its facility in Himachal Pradesh, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the drug firm said in a statement on Tuesday. RDIF and Morepen Laboratories have signed a cooperation agreement in June 2021 and are actively implementing the technology transfer. Here are more details.
"As the pandemic is yet far from over and new, more dangerous variants of coronavirus are being detected in various regions of the world, RDIF is increasing capacities for...production of Sputnik V in India, one of the key hubs," RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said.
Agreement with Morepen Laboratories provides for larger amounts of Sputnik V to be available "both for India and our partners globally to speed up the vaccination with one of the best vaccines in the world," Dmitriev said. Notably, RDIF has already reached agreements with several other pharmaceutical companies—Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, and Virchow Biotech—in India for vaccine production earlier.
"In total, agreements with partners in India provide for the production of more than 850 million doses of Sputnik V per year," the official statement said. "We are delighted to partner with RDIF for the prestigious project of Sputnik V production in India," Morepen Laboratories Chairman and MD Sushil Suri said. Morepen's first batch will be shipped to Russia's Gamaleya Institute for quality control.
"Sputnik V 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," said the official statement. According to Hindustan Times, Sputnik V, which has an efficacy of 91% against COVID-19, has been registered in over 67 countries, including India, accounting for over 3.5 billion people.
Apart from Sputnik V, Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, Covishield—developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India—are currently being administered in India. Notably, the COVID-19 vaccine produced by US-based company Moderna also recently received emergency use approval and is expected to arrive in India soon.