Indian drug manufacturer Morepen Laboratories has begun the production of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in an exclusive facility in the state of Himachal Pradesh, announced the Russian Direct Investment Fund on Tuesday
The first test batch made by the Indian manufacturer will be shipped to the Gamaleya Center for quality control, RDIF said in a statement.
RDIF and Morepen Laboratories signed a cooperation agreement in June 2021 and are actively implementing the technology transfer.
“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. Agreement with Morepen Laboratories provides for a larger amount 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,” said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, which cause the common cold and have been around for thousands of years.
“We are delighted to partner with RDIF for the prestigious project of Sputnik V production in India. This would be our privilege to work jointly on expanding the production base in India. We take this partnership as the starting point for a long term relationship with RDIF and its partner companies as we look forward to many more areas of common interest. Morepen’s commitment towards this project is a step forward towards entry into biosimilars and other biological,” said Sushil Suri, Chairman & Managing Director of Morepen Laboratories.
Sputnik V was granted an emergency use authorization in India on April 12, 2021. India is the leading production hub for Sputnik V. RDIF had reached agreements earlier with other leading pharmaceutical companies in India – Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech. In total, agreements with partners in India provide for production of more than 850 million doses of Sputnik V per year.