Immunologicals Ltd, a leading vaccine manufacturer in India, is in talks to collaborate with Russian authorities to manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. Discussions are underway and it is yet to be ascertained whether the biopharmaceutical company based in Hyderabad can successfully incorporate the Russian technology and scale up production in India, says a report by The Indian Express. "We are in talks. We are exploring the option of manufacturing the Sputnik V vaccine in India after getting the requisite approvals," Dr K Anand Kumar, managing director, Indian Immunologicals said as per the report. Kumar said that there are a lot of parameters that need to be considered before finalising anything. "We have to see whether the technology can be successfully transferred to our platform and how much we can produce. We are looking at the compatibility of what they have done, whether it fits with the equipment we have and at what scale we can produce this vaccine," he said as per the report. Russia released the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine into civil circulation in the first week of September. The Russian health ministry had registered the vaccine on August 11. According to the results of a study published in The Lancet medical journal reveal, Sputnik V produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials. The trials were conducted in June-July and involved 76 participants. According to the report, 100 percent of the participants developed antibodies, with no serious side-effects. However, a group of 15 scientists sent a formal letter to the Lancet on September 14 outlining doubts about the accuracy of early data on Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V. Explainer: Russia's COVID-19 Vaccine Sputnik V, how safe is it, and why India needs to be cautious Fifteen scientists from five countries signed the letter presenting their concerns to the international medical journal, Enrico Bucci, biologist adjunct professor at Philadelphia's Temple University, told Reuters. In a press briefing on September 8, Dr VK Paul, Member of NITI Aayog (Health) said that Russia has approached India to consider manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine through the network of Indian companies and assist in phase-3 studies in India. "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 companies, and phase-3 studies in India," Paul said.
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