Home >Companies >News >Sputnik jab may be produced in India from next quarter

The production of Sputnik V vaccine in India will be ramped up only from the next quarter and till then Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, the marketing partner for the vaccine in the country, will primarily import the shots from Russia, an official from the Hyderabad-based company said on Wednesday.

“Initially, the vaccine will be imported. Over a period of time, the vaccine is also going to be manufactured in India. There are six companies who will manufacture it in India and we expect that by the time we come to the next quarter the capacity would have ramped up significantly," Deepak Sapra, chief executive officer of Dr Reddy’s active pharmaceutical ingredients and services, said at a press conference on Wednesday. Till then, most of the doses are going to be imported from Russia, he said.

Sapra is handling the clinical trial and distribution process of Sputnik V for Dr Reddy’s. He, however, did not comment on the pricing of the vaccine and how many doses will be imported initially by Dr Reddy’s from Russia.

The vaccine received an emergency authorization for import and distribution from the Drugs Controller General of India V.G. Somani on Monday.

India will receive some stock of Sputnik V between April and June as Dr Reddy’s will begin importing the vaccine from Russia during this time. However, the final availability of the vaccine here will depend on factors such as how many doses the government wishes to procure, its price, and the capacity of the cold chain system set up to distribute the vaccines.

The company may start supplying the vaccine to the government from May, a person in the know of the development had said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

Dr Reddy’s is in contract with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the global commercialization partner for the vaccine, under which the Hyderabad-based company is expected to conduct clinical trials and, now after authorization, distribute around 250 million doses of Spuntik V, enough for 125 million people in India.

RDIF has manufacturing contracts with six Indian companies including Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Virchow Biotech and Shilpa Medicare, to make more than 850 million doses of Sputnik V. Around 60-70% of the global volumes of Sputnik V will be made in India and a large proportion of this will be used for the country, Sapra said.

The vaccine involves two doses, each based on a different adenovirus vector containing the spike protein gene of SARS-COV2. The two doses are given three weeks apart.

A liquid version of the vaccine will initially be distributed in India, which has to be stored at -18 degree Celsius. The company is working on a cold chain and distribution network for the vaccine and will also use the government’s infrastructure for the immunisation programme, Sapra said.

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