Dr Reddy’s Laboratories will start importing bulk doses of its anti-coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V from Russia between mid-April to June. According to a contract signed between Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), India will receive about 250 million doses of Sputnik V that would be sufficient for 125 million people.
Deepak Sapra, DRL director and CEO-API and services, said the company has the capacity to procure more number of doses depending on domestic requirement and mutual consent with RDIF. Once the fresh batch of Sputnik vaccines arrive in India, Dr Reddy’s said 60-70 per cent of the shots will be made domestically.
‘Pricing yet to be decided’
Regarding the pricing of the vaccine, Dr Reddy’s said discussions are currently underway with the government of India and other stakeholders. Once there is clarity over the number of doses that India will buy, the price at which they will be procured will be revealed in the next few weeks, Sapra said.
Dr Reddy’s will also be responsible for the regulatory, safety and pharmcovigilance aspects of the vaccine in India. It is also the custodian of the brand Sputnik V in the country.
Dr Reddy’s said it has lined up cold chain facilities and made logistical arrangements to ensure last mile delivery of Sputnik V, which requires a storage condition of -18 degrees C to -22 degrees C.
“We have lined up the cold chain, right from the point of manufacture to global distribution centre in Hyderabad. We have also lined up compact boxes which will be used to store and transport the vaccine to all parts of the country," Sapra said.
The company is also awaiting additional data for storing the vaccine in a dried powder form at 2 to 8 degrees C. Once the data is out in the next few months, the company said it would further ease the existing cold storage infrastructure used in the government’s immunisation programme.
Who else is producing Sputnik V?
Apart from Dr Reddy’s, RDIF also has agreements with Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Panacea Biotec, Virchow Biotech, Stelis Biopharma and Shilpa Medicare to manufacture as many as 850 million doses of Sputnik V in the near future.