Analysis of data after 28 days of administration of vaccine showed an efficacy of 79.4%.
Russia has authorised the use of Sputnik Light — a single dose vaccine against COVID-19.
Sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Thursday said the move will pave way for the immunisation of a larger number of people in a shorter time frame. Sputnik Light is the first component — recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26) — of Sputnik V vaccine that has been approved by over 60 countries, including India.
CEO Kirill Dmitriev said that while the two-dose Sputnik V remains the main source of vaccination, Sputnik Light will be “exported to our international partners to help increase the rate of vaccinations in the face of the ongoing fight against the pandemic and new strains of coronavirus.” At less than $10, the vaccine will also be affordable, he said.
There is a big interest already in Sputnik Light and it is likely to be registered in several countries by as early as next week. “It can be used as a booster shot for other vaccines. Cocktail of vaccines like Sputnik V is the way to go and work very well,” he said, adding that the booster shot will require additional trials.
An RDIF statement showed that according to analyzed data taken from 28 days after the injection was administered, Sputnik Light demonstrated 79.4% efficacy. The efficacy of Sputnik V has been reported at nearly 92%.
The results of Phase I/II Safety and Immunogenicity Study of Sputnik Light show the vaccine can elicit the development of antigen specific IgG antibodies in 96.9% of volunteers on the 28th day after immunisation. Virus-neutralising antibodies developed in 91.67 % of the volunteers on the 28th day post-immunisation. Cellular immune response against the S Protein of SARS-CoV-2 developed in 100% of volunteers. Interim results of Phase III clinical study are expected later this month, RDIF said.
To be manufactured in 10 countries
Besides Russia, Sputnik Light is to made in at least 10 other countries where RDIF has formed manufacturing partnerships with 20 producers for Sputnik V. Noting that India, China and South Korea are in the list, Mr. Dmitriev said “we will use the same production capacities,” but did not elaborate on the number of doses.
On the regulatory approvals for Sputnik Light, he said the process is likely to be faster as the vaccine is set to be made available in many countries by this month. By June, it will be in most of the countries that have registered Sputnik V.
India had accorded emergency use authorisation for Sputnik V last month, following which the first consignment, comprising 1.5 lakh doses from Russia, landed on May 1 in Hyderabad. Indian companies are said to be in discussion with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, the marketing partner for Sputnik V in the country, to get the vaccine for their workforce and families.
This even as samples drawn from the consignment have been sent to Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, for clearance. An update on the discussions that Dr. Reddy’s said were underway regarding the price at which Sputnik V will be available in India, is also awaited. In other markets globally, it has been priced at around $10 per shot. Since November, RDIF has got into multiple manufacturing partnerships in India for producing 850 million doses Sputnik V.
The RDIF contract with Dr. Reddy’s, for marketing and distribution, is for 250 million doses that will translate into vaccination of 125 million people. When the first consignment landed, Dr. Reddy’s CEO, API and Services, Deepak Sapra had said the rollout of the vaccine will be subject to necessary clearances which are to be processed over the next few days. The initial quantity is be “used across different channels as a pilot to line up our supply chain for the larger vaccination programme rollout. Subsequent consignments will arrive in the next few weeks,” he said.