Mubasher: The CEO of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, said that his country will begin clinical trials for its coronavirus vaccine, branded Sputnik V, in Saudi Arabia.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Dmitriev stated that Moscow has received applications from eight Middle Eastern states for doses of the vaccine, adding that Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is a great partner and that there are many mutual projects in progress.
A Saudi team will visit the Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine, and already received data from the first and second vaccine trials.
Russia said it has great partnerships with the kingdom, the UAE, and other Middles Eastern countries and has built a fixed and safe platform for testing the new vaccine.
A total of $100 million has been invested so far in Russia for coronavirus-related experiments; as there are two firms in the portfolio that own the main equipment needed to produce the antiviral drug.
RDIF's Dmitriev further expected producing 10 million doses of Sputnik V every month by the end of 2020, noting that the vaccine could be in use by November.
Full-scale production of Sputnik V for foreign markets could begin in September. RDIF has already received preliminary applications for over 1 billion doses of the vaccine from 20 countries.
Russia, in collaboration with foreign partners, “are already prepared to manufacture over 500 million doses of vaccine per year in five countries, and the plan is to ramp-up production capacity even higher,” according to RDIF.
Earlier this week, Russia announced granting regulatory approval to the world's first COVID-19 vaccine following less than two months of human testing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed that the vaccine was safe and that it had even been taken by one of his daughters.