New Delhi: After Sputnik V vaccines clinical trial's preliminary results showed its efficacy at above 90 percent, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Gamaleya Institute offered AstraZeneca the use of one of its two components in their own clinical trials.
AstraZeneca accepted the proposal and will begin clinical trials of its vaccine in combination with Sputnik V's human adenoviral vector type Ad26 by the end of 2020. This research will allow AstraZeneca's scientists to study the possibility of boosting their vaccine's efficacy through the application of this combined approach.
Sputnik V is among the world's most effective and safe vaccines due to its unique technology combining two different human adenoviral vectors, providing for a stronger and longer-term immune response compared to vaccines using the same component for both inoculations.
The regimen with two different adenoviral vectors for a prime and a boost immunisation is a unique and ground-breaking discovery of the Gamaleya centre scientists. It helps to completely avoid immunity to the first vector, which forms after the first inoculation and thus to raise efficacy and create long-term immunity.
Among the leading Covid-19 vaccines, only Sputnik V is using the two-vector technology.
RDIF's offer to AstraZeneca was an example of Russia's proactive approach: it has not only created one of the world's most effective vaccines to date against coronavirus, but is ready to share Sputnik V vectors with those willing to produce vaccines using the two-vector technology.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said: "This unique example of cooperation between scientists from different countries in jointly fighting coronavirus will play a decisive role in achieving a final victory over the pandemic globally. Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is already saving people's lives in Russia today through a large-scale vaccination programme.
The decision by AstraZeneca to carry out clinical trials using one of two vectors of Sputnik V in order to increase its own vaccine's efficacy is an important step towards uniting efforts in the fight against the pandemic. We welcome the beginning of this new stage of cooperation between vaccine producers. We are determined to develop this partnership in the future and to start joint production after the new vaccine demonstrates its efficacy in the course of clinical trials. We hope that other vaccine producers will follow our example."
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF's management company is based in Moscow.