Home / News / World /  Brazilian state to start Russia covid vaccine trials, eyes buying 50 mn doses

Bahia, a Brazilian state has signed an agreement to conduct Phase III clinical trials of Russia's Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, according to a Reuters report. Along with that, the state also aims to buy 50 million doses to market in Brazil, officials said.

Russia will sell up to 50 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, known as Sputnik-V, to Brazil's Bahia State, RDIF said in a statement. The country last month entered an agreement with the Brazilian state of Paraná to test and produce the vaccine.

The update comes in the backdrop that Russia earlier announced that it has successfully fast-tracked its recently launched Sputnik V vaccine and is most likely to release the vaccine for civilian use soon, according to a report.

Governor Rui Costa said an agreement was signed this week to undertake the trials and Bahia will receive an initial 500 doses as soon as Brazil's health regulator Anvisa approves the protocol for testing.

First supplies are due to start in November pending approval by Brazil regulators "with the consideration of results of post-registration trials", RDIF added, as per Reuters reports.

Sputnik V Covid vaccine, which is developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology under the Russian Health Ministry, may be granted permission to release a batch of its vaccine for civilian use, the institute’s deputy director for research, said associate member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Denis Logunov, according to a report.

A Phase III trial is a large-scale one involving thousands of people - in Russia, 40,000 - over a longer stretch of time.

If the trials that are expected to start in October are successful, Bahia will look to market the Russian vaccine in Brazil through its pharmaceutical research center Bahiafarma, said Fabio Vilas-Boas Pinto, Bahia state Health Secretary.

Brazil is the world's third-hardest-hit country by coronavirus, with more than million confirmed cases.

A separate Phase III trial will also be conducted on 10,000 volunteers in Brazil in 2021, the technology institute for the state of Paraná said last week.

Paraná's Technology Institute, known as Tecpar, will be using imported doses for the tests, but will start producing the vaccine for Brazil's market in the second half of next year.

RDIF has already signed two deals to export the vaccine abroad. Kazakhstan is set to buy more than 2 million doses initially and could later increase the volume to 5 million doses.

It has also agreed to sell 32 million doses to a private company in Mexico, Landsteiner Scientific.

RDIF said this week it expects to supply up to 100 million doses of the vaccine to Latin America, around a fifth of what it expects to be able to produce annually through global manufacturing partnerships.

India will be producing 300 million doses of the vaccine.

CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev told Sputnik that the clinical trials in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Philippines, India and Brazil will begin this month.

"The post-registration studies involving more than 40,000 people started in Russia on August 26, before AstraZeneca has started its Phase 3 trial in the US with 30,000 participants. Clinical trials in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Philippines, India and Brazil will begin this month. The preliminary results of the Phase 3 trial will be published in October-November 2020," said Dmitriev.

Three Moscow outpatient clinics have received the first batch of a covid vaccine against the coronavirus for post-registration trials, news agency TASS reported, citing Deputy Moscow Mayor Anastasia Rakova. Moscow residents can apply to participate in the study and be the first to obtain the vaccine, the deputy mayor said.

On August 11, Russia became the first country to license a Covid-19 vaccine, calling it "Sputnik V" in homage to the world's first satellite, launched by the Soviet Union. But western experts have warned against its use until all internationally approved testing and regulatory steps have been taken. The vaccine is undergoing Phase 3 trials.

The vaccine vaccine produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials, according to results published earlier by The Lancet medical journal that were hailed by Moscow as an answer to its critics.

The results of the two trials, conducted in June-July this year and involving 76 participants, showed 100% of participants developing antibodies to the new coronavirus and no serious side effects, The Lancet said.

With inputs from agencies

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