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Indian Firm to Make 200M Doses of Russia's Sputnik V

The RDIF has also secured production agreements with companies from Italy, Spain, France and Germany. Dar Yasin / AP / TASS

The backer of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said Monday it had signed an agreement with an India-based pharmaceuticals giant for the production of up to 200 million doses of the jab a year.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the country's sovereign wealth fund, said in a statement it has partnered with the Virchow Group to produce up to 200 million doses of the two-dose vaccine in India every year. 

Virchow Biotech, a subsidiary of the Virchow Group, is expected to start full-scale commercial production in the first half of 2021, it said.

RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said the agreement was "an important step to facilitate the full-scale local production" of the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine in India and to supply partners around the world. 

In a separate statement, RDIF said that over the past week it had secured production agreements with two other Indian manufacturers: Stelis Biopharma and Gland Pharma. 

The companies will produce enough doses for 300 million people a year, RDIF said.

It added that Sputnik V has "production capacity for more than 700 million people secured in 10 countries", without providing further details.

According to RDIF, Russia's vaccine, which is named after the Soviet-era satellite, has been registered in 54 countries.

Moscow registered the vaccine in August before large-scale clinical trials, but leading medical journal The Lancet has since said it is safe and over 90% effective.

Some western countries have been wary of Sputnik over concerns the Kremlin is using it as a soft power tool to advance its interests.

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