New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero Drugs on Friday announced that it will produce around 100 million doses of Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik-V in India. In a statement, the Hyderabad-based biopharma said that the 100 million doses of Sputnik-V will be produced jointly with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) from the beginning of 2021.

"We are pleased to collaborate with RDIF as a manufacturing partner for the most anticipated Sputnik V vaccine for the treatment of Covid-19," Murali Krishna Reddy, Director, International Marketing, Hetero Labs Limited was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.

"This collaboration is another step towards our commitment in the battle against Covid-19 and realising the objective of 'Make-in-India' campaign as envisioned by our Prime Minister of India," Reddy added.

Sputnik-V, a Russian coronavirus vaccine, has shown 95 per cent efficacy in its interim clinical trial results. Currently, Phase III clinical trials are approved and are ongoing in Belarus, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Venezuela and other countries, as well as Phase II-III in India.

Apart from India, Sputnik V will also be produced in Brazil, China and South Korea. The company had also announced Sputnik-V vaccine will be priced at USD 10 per dose on international markets, costing less than some other registered coronavirus vaccines.

"I am confident that Sputnik V should become an integral part of the national vaccine portfolio of every country willing to protect its population from the coronavirus," RDIF head Kirill Dmitriyev said.

In October this year, Dr Reddy's Laboratories had also announced a partnership with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), set up by the Department of Biotechnology, for advisory support on clinical trials of Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik-V, in India.

Meanwhile, India's coronavirus tally on Friday crossed the 93 lakh-mark while the death toll reached 1.35 lakh. The Union Health Ministry said that nearly 70 per cent of the country's active COVID-19 cases are from Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

"About 70 per cent (69.59 per cent) of the total active cases is contributed by eight states/UT i.e. Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh," the Health Ministry said.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma