RDIF, Pharco agree to supply 25m doses of Sputnik V vaccine to Egypt
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia's sovereign wealth fund, and Pharco, a pharmaceutical group in Egypt (acting through its key operational subsidiary – Biogeneric Pharma) have agreed to secure the supply of 25 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine to Egypt.
The vaccine, which is based on a well-studied human adenoviral vectors platform with proven safety and efficacy, will support the efforts of the Ministry of Health of Egypt to secure a vaccine against COVID-19. The agreement will enable 25% of Egypt's population to have access to the Sputnik V vaccine. In the future, it is planned to distribute it to neighboring countries.
Egypt will secure a diversified vaccine portfolio which includes a vaccine based on the human adenoviral vectors platform. This platform has proven safe over decades including through 75 international scientific publications and in more than 250 clinical trials.
Clinical trials of the Russian vaccine have shown no serious adverse events, with Sputnik V generating a stable humoral and cellular immune response in 100% of participants. In contrast, vaccines based on novel platforms have yet to prove their safety and currently have no data on carcinogenicity or effects on fertility.
On August 11, the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology was registered by the Ministry of Health of Russia and became the world's first registered vaccine against COVID-19 based on the human adenoviral vectors platform.
On September 4, a research paper on the results of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine was published in The Lancet, one of the leading international medical journals. Post-registration clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine involving 40,000 volunteers are currently ongoing. More than 60,000 volunteers have applied to take part in post-registration trials. The first results of these trials are expected to be published in October-November 2020.
More than 50 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Europe and CIS have applied for Sputnik V. RDIF has already announced supply agreements with Mexico for 32 million doses, with Brazil for up to 50 million doses, India – 100 million doses, Uzbekistan – for up to 35 million doses and Nepal for 25 million doses.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said: ''The agreement between RDIF and Pharco will help Egypt obtain an efficient and safe vaccine, Sputnik V, for almost 25% of its population. The adenoviral vectors platform has a longer safety track record compared to novel technologies such as monkey adenoviral vectors or mRNA used by other vaccine manufacturers. So the people of Egypt will get a proven vaccine created on a platform with no negative long-term effects, including carcinogenicity or risks for fertility in the future. We expect more countries to include Sputnik V in their vaccine portfolios in the coming weeks.''
Dr. Sherine Abbas Helmy, Founder and President of Pharco, said: ''We greatly appreciate this agreement to secure supplies of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine with proven safety to Egypt. Besides vaccine supply, we are considering numerous further cooperation opportunities jointly with RDIF, including the localization of production in Egypt at the facilities of Biogeneric Pharma within the next few months for the benefit of both countries.''
Feliks Ershov, virologist, and Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted: ''This pandemic will not be completely eradicated without a vaccine. The vaccine created by the Gamaleya Center is not one-piece, like the vaccines of the past, (containing a live or killed virus). It is made using modern biotechnology and a proven platform, in contrast to products by a number of companies based on mRNA or the monkey adenovirus, which have not been tested before. The safety of the Sputnik V vaccine is ensured by using a simple flu virus that is harmless to humans and does not contain the coronavirus itself - only a part of its genetic code, which excludes the possibility of infection. But the antibodies response necessary to protect the body is ensured, which was confirmed by the results of trials. The use of two consecutive shots with different mechanisms of delivery of the virus code into the body guarantees immunization and represents a unique advantage of the Russian vaccine.''