SPUTNIK V COVID-19 VACCINE- MANUFACTURING IN KARNATAKA SOON

In the face of a vaccination shortage, Karnataka will house manufacturing plants for Covaxin and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines.

While Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin manufacturing facility in Malur, Kolar district, is under construction, Shilpa Medicare has signed a three-year definitive agreement with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) through its wholly-owned subsidiary Shilpa Biologicals Pvt. Ltd. (SBPL), for the production and supply of the Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine from its integrated biologics R&D-cum-manufacturing centre in Dharwad.

By the end of August, the Kolar vaccine manufacturing facility, according to state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, will be able to produce four to five crore doses each month.

Sudhakar claimed he attended a video conference with Bharat Biotech founder Dr Krishna Ella, his daughter Dr Jala Ella, and the rest of the team on May 17 in Bengaluru. Sudhakar said, “Dr Ella has assured me that their facility at Malur in Kolar will be able to produce one crore vaccines by June-end. By July-end it will be two to three crores, and their target by August-end is four crore to five crore vaccine doses.”

Dr. Krishna Ella and the directors of Bharat Biotech have also informed him that vaccination doses will be delivered to Karnataka as soon as possible, according to the minister. Sudhakar stated that he had requested a rollout timeline from them.

Meanwhile, SBPL said in a regulatory filing that it expects to produce 50 million doses of the dual vector Sputnik V in the first 12 months of commercial production.

On May 14, DRL soft-launched the imported COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. The vaccination is priced at Rs 948 per dosage, plus a 5% GST (retail price of Rs 995.40).

DRL, according to Shilpa Medicare, will help SBPL transfer technologies. SBPL will be in charge of manufacturing, while DRL will be in charge of distributing and promoting the vaccine doses throughout its marketing regions, according to the agreement.

In the near future, Shilpa Medicare stated, the businesses are looking into manufacturing Sputnik Light, a single-dose version of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Inoculations of the new coronavirus vaccines have been administered to nearly 1.13 crore people in Karnataka thus far. Both the first and second doses are included in this figure. However, due to a scarcity of dosages, the immunisation campaign for adults aged 18 to 44 has been halted.

India is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infection, and quick mass vaccination is being viewed as a viable approach to stop the pandemic from spreading further.

DR REDDY’S SPUTNIK V VACCINE; TIE-UP WITH APOLLO HOSPITALS

On May 17, Dr. Reddy’s said that 8-9 states have contacted the company about purchasing the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are among the states that have reached out to them, according to the company.

The imported doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine were priced at Rs 948 plus 5% GST, or Rs 995.40 per dose, according to Dr Reddy’s. It stated that the price for both government and private channels will remain the same.

The company plans to partner with hospitals in the metro area that can store vaccines at 18 degrees Celsius.

Last week, Dr Reddy’s received 1.5 lakh Sputnik first dose doses, and the company said it received a second consignment of 60,000 second dose doses over the weekend.

“We have a supply commitment of 36 million doses from RDIF in the next two months,” said M V Ramana, CEO of Branded Formulations at Dr Reddy’s.

Dr. Reddy’s is attempting to obtain further doses from RDIF, according to Raman. RDIF has agreed to supply 250 million Sputnik V first and second doses to the company. Russia will have between 15-20% of the initial supplies.

The vaccine prices will come down once local manufacturers start supplying, which is expected in the next two to three months, according to Dr. Reddy’s.

“They have to absorb the technology from RDIF, have to get approvals from the regulators and then scale up manufacturing,” said Sauri Gudlavalleti- Head of Research and Development. “We are working with the regulator to bring appropriate guidance, on whether the other Indian suppliers with whom RDIF signed supply agreement will have to do clinical trials or not,: Gudlavalleti added.

DCGI has given Hetero, which has a partnership with RDIF, permission to conduct Phase-3 trials of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Gudlavalleti stated that the company plans to approach the Indian drug regulator in the coming weeks to request emergency use authorization for the Sputnik Light single-dose vaccine.

Tie-up with Apollo Hospitals

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Apollo Hospitals declared a collaboration on Monday to conduct a trial launch of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in India.

Dr. Reddy’s will rely on the Apollo Hospitals network around the country for vaccine storage, transportation, administration, and monitoring.

The Sputnik V vaccine would cost between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,250 per dose, according to Apollo Hospitals.

According to Dr. Reddy’s, the initial rollout will begin on May 17 in Hyderabad and will be expanded to Visakhapatnam and other metro cities on May 18.

In addition to Apollo, Dr. Reddy’s has a partnership with IHH Healthcare’s Contitental Hospitals.