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Russia mulls manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ in PH

Philippines and Russia are discussing potential manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V by Gamaleya Institute in the country, the Department of Trade and Industry revealed.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez (right) discussed with Russian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Igor Khovaev the possibility of manufacturing and distributing Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines during the Ambassador’s farewell courtesy call on 6 October 2020.

Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez have discussed with Russian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Igor Khovaev the possibility of manufacturing and distributing Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines during the Ambassador’s farewell courtesy call Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

DTI Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo, who is also Board of Investment managing head, said that Philippines and Russia also agreed the need to strengthen the ongoing Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (JCTEC), which covers the areas of trade, investment, and other economic cooperation projects between the two nations.

Rodolfo said the JCTEC is slated to meet in November this year wherein “the important part of the JTEC meeting agenda is the collaboration on vaccines.”

While Rodolfo said that the discussion was still preliminary, the discussions appeared to be already gaining ground with Russia having discussed the plan through their Manila embassy with the Department of Health and the Department of Science and Technology.

The DOST through Assistant Leah Buendia has already engaged with Russia’s Gamaleya Institute and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Alexander Zhuravlev, senior vice-president of the investment department of RDIF has presented Gamaleya’s Sputnik V vaccine last September 18. The Russian Sputnik V is touted as the world’s first Human Adenovirus Vector-based COVID-19 vaccine.

“The offer of Russia is not only to supply vaccines, but also to collaborate for the manufacturing of the vaccine in the Philippines. Ambassador Igor emphasized that Russia is the only country who also offers in-country manufacturing of the vaccine,” said Rodolfo.

DTI Assistant Secretary Allan Gepty said that Russia is willing to venture into manufacturing provided there is a pharma company that can handle full scale production of vaccines. “I think this is something that the Philippines will have to prepare or build capacity,” he said.

Gepty explained that the roadmap of the vaccine development in the Philippines is in the medium term to have a local pharma company to establish a fill and finish for the vaccine. In the long term, a virology science and technology institute has been requested to be established (currently a bill is filed in Congress) to build the capability initially for R and D and eventually to have our own full-scale vaccine manufacturing.

On the joint clinical trial, Gepty said that per Food and Drugs Administration there is an ethnicity requirement/racial similarity needed as part of the protocol in the approval process of vaccine. “Right now, most of the subjects in the clinical trial conducted are Russians,” he said.

“It is important that it undergoes all related Philippine rules and regulations, including conduct of joint clinical trials,” he said.

Rodolfo likewise stressed that it is important that the vaccine undergoes all the related Philippine rules and regulations, including the conduct of joint clinical trials and follow the requirements of the DOH, Food and Drug Administration and DOST.

The plan though is part of the joint clinical trials and the immediate provision of vaccine supply after the third phase and regulatory approval that they will follow all local rules and regulations related to this e.g. conduct of joint 3rd-phase clinical trial for the Sputnik V.

During the meeting, the Russian ambassador also mentioned that aside from Gamaleya, two other entities in Russia are also developing vaccines.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/10/09/russia-mulls-manufacturing-covid-19-vaccine-sputnik-v-in-ph/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=russia-mulls-manufacturing-covid-19-vaccine-sputnik-v-in-ph)

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