Policy & Regulation
Russia's sovereign wealth fund to sell 100 million doses of its Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine to India
16 September 2020 -

Russia's sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), has said it has agreed to supply 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik-V, to Indian drug company Dr Reddy's Laboratories, as Moscow speeds up plans to distribute its vaccine abroad, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

This deal comes after the RDIF reached agreements with Indian manufacturers to produce 300 million doses of the vaccine in India, which is a major consumer of Russian oil and arms.

RDIF said in a statement that Dr Reddy's, one of India's top pharmaceutical companies, will carry out Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine in India, pending regulatory approval, adding that deliveries to India could begin in late 2020, subject to the completion of trials and the vaccine's registration by regulatory authorities in India.

G V Prasad, co-chairman of Dr Reddy's, was cited in the RDIF statement as saying that the Phase I and II results had shown promise adding, "Sputnik V vaccine could provide a credible option in our fight against COVID-19 in India."

However, there was no detail about the price of the vaccine but RDIF has said previously it was not aiming at making a profit, just covering costs.

According to Reuters, Russia was the first country to license a COVID-19 vaccine before large-scale Phase III trials were complete, stirring concern among scientists and doctors about the safety and efficacy of the shot.

Reportedly, the RDIF has already reached vaccine supply deals with Kazakhstan, Brazil and Mexico. It has also signed a memorandum with the Saudi