Indian drug firm Panacea Biotec announced the launch of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine production in India on Monday.
The first batch of the Russian-developed vaccine produced at Panacea’s Baddi facility in Himachal Pradesh will be shipped to Russia’s Gamaleya Center for quality control.
Panacea, in agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), have agreed to produce 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V.
According to joint statement issued by RDIF and Panacea Biotec, full-scale production of Sputnik V is expected to start in June-July.
“Launch of production in India in partnership with Panacea Biotec marks an important step in helping the country fight the pandemic,” RDIF chief executive Kirill Dmitriev said.
It’s a step forward for augmenting vaccine stock in India, where the demand is far more than supply, especially after the 18-44 age group were made eligible for the jab from May 1.
“This marks a significant step as we initiate production of Sputnik V. Together with RDIF, we hope to help bring a sense of normalcy back to people across the country and around the world,” Panacea Biotec MD Rajesh Jain said.
Sputnik V, which received emergency use authorisation procedure in India last month, will be produced by five other companies in India, including Dr Reddy’s Laboratories where Sputnik V was trialled and rolled out.