Russian pharma company R-Pharm has reportedly signed an agreement with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine being developed by the latter in collaboration with UK-based Oxford University.
The entire world is pinning hopes on the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine candidate, which reportedly seems to be the most probable to become the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus, which has killed millions of people in the recent times.
The news of the deal comes amid allegations by the UK on Russia that it is using hackers to steal data regarding the research on the COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Reuters reported that Kirill Dmitriev – the head of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that the deal with AstraZeneca demonstrated that Russia need not steal anything.
Meanwhile, Alexey Repik – the chairman of R-Pharm’s board has been quoted by the same publication, to have said: “We have formalised this plan in the form of signed agreements in the area of production and supply of the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, using R-Pharm to fulfil the project.”
On Thursday, Kirill Dmitriev told Reuters that Russia intends to manufacture 30 million doses of an investigational COVID-19 vaccine in the country this year, with the possibility to manufacture an additional 170 million abroad.
Russia is in the list of the five most affected countries with the novel coronavirus, behind the US, Brazil, and India.
Last week, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University claimed to have completed human clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Russia-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.