Russia looking for partnership with India for producing COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V: RDIF CEO

Russia looking for partnership with India for producing COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V: RDIF CEO
This file handout picture taken on August 6, 2020 and provided by the Russian Direct Investment Fund shows the vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. AFP
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New Delhi: Russia is looking for a partnership with India for producing COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced that his country has developed the world's first vaccine against COVID-19, which works "quite effectively" and forms a "stable immunity" against the disease.

Sputnik V has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, along with the RDIF. The vaccine has not been tested in Phase 3 or larger clinical trials.

Addressing an online press briefing, Dmitriev said several nations are interested in the production of the vaccine from countries in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

"The production of the vaccine is a very important issue. Currently, we are looking for a partnership with India. We believe that they are capable of producing the Gamaleya vaccine and it is very important to say that those partnerships to produce the vaccine will enable us to cover the demand that we have," he said.

Dmitriev said Russia is looking forward to international cooperation.

"We are going to do clinical trials not just in Russia but also in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, probably in Brazil and India. We are planning to produce the vaccine in more than five countries and there is a very high demand from Asia, Latin America, Italy and other parts of the world regarding the delivery of the vaccine," he said.

Alexander Gintsburg, the director of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and an academician at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said more than 20,000 people have taken part in the clinical trials of vaccines and drugs, based on human adenoviruses or human adenoviral vectors.

"Vaccines do not contain live human adenoviruses, but human adenovirus vectors, that is, human viruses that cannot multiply in the body and are completely safe," he said.

The Sputnik V vaccine consists of two shots that use different versions of adenoviruses -- virus types, some of which cause the common cold - that the manufacturers have engineered to carry the gene for the surface protein of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.

"The approach of the Gamaleya Institute with the vaccine, using two human adenoviruses serotypes: number 5 (Ad5) and number 26 (Ad26), has a clear advantage over the one-vector approach used by other developers," Gintsburg said.

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