Russian DIF agrees to manufacture Sputnik V vaccine with Hetero Pharma in India

Russian Direct Investment Fund and Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero have reached an agreement to produce over 100 million doses per year in India of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, according to a statement on the Sputnik V Twitter account on Friday.

Hetero and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has been financially supporting the vaccine and marketing it globally, plan to start production of Sputnik V in India at the beginning of 2021, the statement said. Phase II-III trials are ongoing in India, the statement said. Drugmaker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has said it expects late-stage trials to be completed by as early as March 2021.


In a release on Tuesday, RDIF said the cost of one dose of Sputnik V will be less than Rs 750, while it shall be distributed free of charge to Russians. As of November 24, more than 22,000 volunteers were vaccinated with the first dose, while some 19,000 were given the first and second doses of the vaccine at 29 medical centres in Russia. The uniqueness and effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine lie in the use of two different human adenoviral vectors which its makers say fosters a stronger and longer-term immune response compared to the vaccines using the same vector for both doses.

As the world awaits the first COVID-19 vaccine, three vaccine developers — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford University are at the forefront for government approval by December. Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund took to Twitter on Friday to suggest combining AstraZeneca/University of Oxford’s vaccine candidate with their own vaccine to boost better results. The combination might also lay further steps for revaccinations.

The statement said, “Current full dose AstraZeneca regimen resulted in 62 percent efficacy. If they go for a new clinical trial, we suggest trying a regimen of combining the AZ shot with the Sputnik V human adenoviral vector shot to boost efficacy. Combining vaccines may prove important for revaccinations.”