The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry and the AstraZeneca and R-Pharm pharmaceutical companies have signed an agreement on development and implementation of a program of clinical trials of a combination of vaccines against the coronavirus, the RDIF reported on Monday.
The sides agreed to boost research and business relations that will include studies to explore the potential of a combined use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and the AZD1222 preparation developed by AstraZeneca in order to generate a more stable and durable protection against the coronavirus.
Clinical trials of the combination of the AZD1222 vaccine with the Sputnik V human adenoviral serotype Ad26 vector will be launched soon. The R-Pharm company will also be one of the sponsors of the study.
“A schedule using two different adenoviral vectors for primary and secondary immunization, being a unique and fundamental development by specialists of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry, allows to circumvent immunity to the first vector, formed after the first inoculation, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the second injection thus forming a long-term immunity. Thanks to this schedule, among other things, the effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine surpasses 90%, and [protection] against severe cases of the disease amounts to 100%. Among the leading vaccines against the coronavirus, currently only Sputnik V possesses the technology of two different vectors,” the RDIF’s statement reads.
Earlier on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in a video conference dedicated to the cooperation of the British-Swedish AstraZeneca with the Russian side on the vaccines.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed optimism that cooperation between Russian manufacturers of coronavirus vaccines and AstraZeneca will be successful.
“Today, all of us are talking within the G20 and the UN about the need to pool efforts, and everyone is corroborating that this process will certainly be productive and highly sought after,” he said on Monday at a videoconference on the occasion of the signing of a memorandum of intent between the Gamaleya Research Center, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, R-Pharm and AstraZeneca on COVID-19 prevention.
“You have moved from words to action, from appeals to the implementation of the tasks that are facing the whole world and all of humanity today. I congratulate you, and hope that your cooperation will be successful and wish you good luck,” he noted.
Putin recalled the use of the Russian polio vaccine in Japan when, many years ago, that country’s authorities questioned the advisability and efficacy of the drug.
“But Japan’s citizens corrected their leadership back then, and it [the vaccine] was effectively used in many countries yielding very good results,” the Russian leader said.
On August 11, Russia became the first country worldwide to register a vaccine against the coronavirus which was named Sputnik V. On December 21, it was reported that the vaccine was registered in Belarus.
Header: GROZNY, RUSSIA – DECEMBER 19, 2020: Drawing up from an ampoule of Gam-COVID-Vac (marketed as Sputnik V) during COVID-19 vaccination at outpatient clinic No 2. Yelena Afonina/TASS