Russia’s coronavirus vaccine developer Sputnik V said on Friday that it has signed a partnership with an India-based pharmaceutical company to produce 200 million doses of the two-dose vaccine.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has supported the development of Sputnik V, said in a statement that it has entered into a partnership with Stelis Biopharma “to produce and supply at least 200 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.”
It is expected that Stelis Biopharma will be able to start supplying the vaccine from the second half of the year.
The RDIF added that Stelis – the biopharmaceutical unit of global pharmaceutical company Strides – will work with Russia’s wealth fund to provide supplies “after the initial agreement”.
RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev said the “large vaccine volumes” being produced with Stelis “will help expand access to the vaccine on a global scale.”
The RDIF said Friday that 52 countries have agreed to use the Russian Sputnik V satellite, named after the Soviet-era satellite.
Moscow registered the vaccine injection in August ahead of large-scale clinical trials, but leading medical journal The Lancet has since said it is more than 90% safe and effective.
Some Western countries have been wary of Sputnik due to concerns that the Kremlin will use it as a soft power tool to advance their interests.