Dr Reddy’s Laboratories gearing up with Covid portfolio

Plan to vaccinate 125 million people in the next 8-12 months across the country

By   |  Published: 15th May 2021  12:14 amUpdated: 14th May 2021  7:20 pm

Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based pharmaceuticals company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, is strengthening its efforts to bring both curative and preventive products (drugs and vaccines) to fight Covid-19.

The company, which received 1.5 lakh doses of Sputnik V vaccine from Russia on May 1, rolled out the vaccine in India on Friday. The company expects a steady ramp up over May and June.

The company believes further consignments of imported doses are expected over the upcoming months. Subsequently, the supply of the Sputnik V vaccine will commence from Indian manufacturing partners mostly from July 2021 onwards, said Deepak Sapra, CEO, API and Services, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

Dr Reddy’s is working closely with its six manufacturing partners in India to meet the regulatory requirements to ensure the supply of the vaccine. The company earlier partnered with RDIF of Russia to conduct clinical trials and distribution of Sputnik V vaccine in India.

The current product (Sputnik V) is a two-dose product with two different components and phase-II and phase -III clinical trials have been undertaken in Russia and India. Additionally, trials have also been carried out in the UAE. The trials have demonstrated an efficacy of 91.6 per cent, along with consistent safety and immunogenicity results.

The vaccine received the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in April, 2021, making India the 60th nation globally to have approved Sputnik for Covid vaccination. Dr Reddy’s has rights for the first 125 million people doses (i.e. 250 million shots) in India.

Current product requires storage of (-) 18 degree temperature. The product with 2 to 8 degree temperature conditions is under stability testing. Moreover, Sputnik Light single dose vaccine has been approved in Russia with an efficacy of 79.4 per cent, which can be a very important means to India’s effort to maximise access. The company hopes to also bring single dose vaccine to India soon.

MV Ramana, EVP and head of Branded Markets (India and Emerging Countries) said, “We plan to vaccinate 125 million people in the next 8-12 months. To meet the immediate vaccination needs, initial supplies would be from the imported route (about 15 -20 per cent of the total requirement of 250 million shots). Six contract manufacturing organisations from India are working towards manufacture and supply of vaccines and this would form a major part of supplies, with production ramping up after July 2021.”

Ramana added, “We will be an integral part of the Government’s vaccination campaigns. We also aim to serve the private channel via hospitals and corporate partnerships. The requirements of our cold chain infrastructure (-18 degrees) means that we will begin with metros and tier 1 cities and scale up to the rest of India.”

The company expects to rollout the vaccine in about 35 cities based on the cold chain infrastructure availability. Sputnik V is currently priced at Rs 948 plus GST which translates to Rs 995 per dose. This considers the import, logistics and distribution cost. Prices may come down once domestic manufactured supplies begin. Dr Reddy’s is also working with RDIF to launch in a few other markets, particularly in emerging markets.

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