With Russia approaching India for phase 3 trials of its Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 and for its manufacture in the country, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul said on Tuesday that the government attaches "great importance to this offer of partnership from a very special friend" and there has been significant movement on both the tracks.
Answering queries during a press conference here, Paul, who is Member (Health) in NITI Aayog, said the outreach from Russia has been extended to several compes in India and four of them have already come forward.
He said the government is facilitating the process of how they can be connected to Russian authorities.
Sputnik V vaccine, developed jointly by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the researchers from Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, was registered by the Russian Health Ministry on August 11.
Paul said that Russia has approached the government for the manufacture of the vaccine through India's network of compes.
"The vaccine developed by Russia has been under consideration of the country. The government of Russia approached our government and sought help on two counts - to consider its manufacturing through our network of compes and phase three studies in India. They have completed phase one and phase two studies of the vaccine," Dr Paul said.
"The government of India attaches great importance to this offer of partnership from a very special friend of this nation, and on both the tracks there has been significant movement. The outreach has been extended to several compes in India. Four of them have already come forward and the government is facilitating the process of how they can be connected to Russian authorities," he added.
Dr Paul said the trial will be done on 1,600 volunteers.
"When we are saying that the trial will be conducted, the trial will be conducted on 1,600 volunteers in India adhering to norms and standard procedures. This is a win-win situation for India and the world indeed because India can manufacture the vaccines in large quantities. Indian scientists have looked at the data. We are paving the way to facilitate the process in the spirit of science and humty," he said.
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriev had said earlier that Russia is in close dialogue with the Indian government and drug manufactures in India regarding localization of production of its Sputnik V vaccine here.
The Lancet had last week published the results of clinical trials of Phase I-II of the Russian vaccine and said it had exhibited antibody response in all participants.
( With inputs from ANI )
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