Russian Sputnik Vaccine to Be Made in Italy in First EU Deal

Russian Sputnik Vaccine to Be Made in Italy in First EU Deal

20:28 - A Swiss biopharmaceutical company will produce the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine at its Italian facilities, marking the first European production agreement for the Russian shot.

Lugano, Switzerland-based Adienne Pharma & Biotech SA signed an agreement with Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF to manufacture the vaccine at its production site in the Milan region, the company’s founder and President Antonio Francesco Di Naro told Bloomberg in an interview.

The start of production is subject to approval from Italian regulators. No production targets can be set as of now, Di Naro said.

The deal comes as Prime Minister Mario Draghi pledged to speed up Italy’s fledgling vaccination campaign amid a new rise in infections from the disease that’s already claimed 100,000 victims in the country.

Earlier this month, Draghi was the first European leader to use recently introduced powers to block the export of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine, after the company sharply reduced planned deliveries to the European Union.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday lashed out at manufacturers for failing to uphold their commitments as countries in Europe struggle to step up the pace of inoculations.

Rolling Review
The European Medicines Agency said March 4 that it started a rolling review of Sputnik V to test compliance with safety and quality standards, the first major step in gaining approval for use in the European Union. The Russian vaccine started to gain broader international recognition after The Lancet medical journal published peer-reviewed results of interim trials showing 91.6% efficacy.

Read More: EU Starts Sputnik V Review as Russia Seeks Vaccine Acceptance

RDIF Chief Executive Officer Kirill Dmitriev told Italy’s state-owned Rai television on Sunday that talks were underway to produce the Sputnik V vaccine in Italy by the summer.

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