India, Russia collaborating on COVID-19 vaccine, clinical trials likely this month


New Delhi, Sept 10:  India and Russia are in touch for production of COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ and clinical trials will be held this month, a senior official of the Russian Embassy here said on Thursday.


Russia will transfer ’technology to India and Indian drug manufacturers for production of the vaccine and four Indian companies have shown interest. The official, however, declined to divulge the names of the four companies saying discussions were still on.


The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a Russian government body which is financing research for the vaccine, for its production in India, also said clinical trials would be held this month in India, Brazil, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.


Officials in New Delhi confirmed that Russia has been in talks with the External Affairs Ministry and some vaccine manufacturers for mass production of the vaccine in India.


The officials said India is considering conducting the third phase of the clinical trials, regulatory facilitation and manufacturing of the vaccine and various scientific bodies are looking into it. This was being done following a request from the Russian government that India consider manufacturing the vaccine by Indian pharma companies and conduct phase three trials.


There has been positive movement on both these requests, the officials said and added that four Indian companies had shown interest while discussions were on with several other companies.

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