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Russian drugmakers focus on export-oriented Sputnik Light shot
Some Russian drug manufacturers say they will only manufacture Sputnik Light Covid-19 single dose vaccine for now because it’s easier to do than Sputnik V, which combines two separately produced plans.
This highlights the complexity of producing the second shot of the Sputnik V vaccination of Russia, which is made up of two different products that require different manufacturing facilities and twice as many people to manufacture. Which does Sputnik light, which is identical to the first Sputnik V shot and was approved for use by Russia in May, an interesting short-term solution.
Developped by Moscow Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine, which, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), is 79.4% effective against Covid-19 and costs less than $ 10 a dose, is intended for export. Vikram Punia, chairman of Pharmasyntez, told Reuters his company is awaiting registration to officially launch a new manufacturing plant once its first batches of Sputnik Light had successfully passed the quality control tests supervised by the developer.
Sputnik V consists of two different vectors, which are used as a first injection and then a booster injection, which are taken 21 days apart. Vectors are modified human cold viruses that are used to carry genetic information around the body that triggers the build-up of immunity. Pharmasyntez also produced the second component of the Sputnik V vaccine, but decided not to increase production because manufacturing requires significant resources, he said.
Punia previously told Reuters that the two Sputnik V plans had to be produced separately due to the risk of contamination, which required more resources. “We think it’s appropriate now to work with one component, to do a lot of it. We haven’t gone to industrial scale (with the second),” Punia said.
Pharmasyntez plans to manufacture 1 million doses of Sputnik Light per week by end of third quarter or beginning of fourth quarter, he said, adding that the maximum production volume was 6-8 million doses per month.
Requests for Sputnik Light have already come from the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, Punia added. The company will apply to RDIF, which is responsible for marketing the Russian vaccine abroad, for permission to work primarily for export markets because “the domestic (manufacturing) processes have already been worked out,” Punia said. .
Russian company BioIntegrator also only produces Sputnik light at the moment, co-owner Andrei Ivaschenko said. According to the agreements with the RDIF, production was organized to supply mainly foreign markets, he said, adding that the work to organize the production of the second dose Sputnik V was in progress. “The virus is very volatile and, in fact, it is necessary to build two factories, each with its own staff, which must not cross each other so that there is no cross-contamination of the production,” said Ivaschenko.