Could you share the details of the deal with Dr Reddy’s?
Following the approval from the regulator’s Dr Reddy’s has agreed to purchase 100 million doses of Sputnik V. So we believe that India will be a big hub for production of Russian vaccines and Russian vaccines will be supplied not only to India, but for other markets from India.
There are concerns raised by few scientists that Russia is jumping timelines to get its vaccine out. How safe and efficacious is your vaccine?
There are over 250 clinical trials that show there are no long-term effects of the adenovirus vaccine in the human body because this virus has been living with us for over 100 thousand years. The human adenovirus vaccine platform is one of the safest, this platform is much safer than the new vaccine platforms like the mRNA or the monkey adenovirus because we still don’t know the long-term safety profile of these vaccines because these are novel technology. We already have an EBOLA vaccine based on our platform and it gone through phase 2 and 3 clinical trials based on which the Russian regulator has given emergency approval. And finally, unlike western companies who produce vaccines and ask for full indemnity of legal risks, we won’t be asking for this legal indemnity and that is the testament of our proven human adenovirus.
How does your technology work?
So, in our clinical trials we found no side effects that were significant and 100% of the volunteers developed strong immune responses and displayed 1.5x immune response of a sick Covid patient. And then it also showed evidence of cellular response. Gamaleya institute believes that immunity from our vaccine will last for two years, which is longer than others. Now this specific amount of time still needs to be tested. The advantage we have is that we use two different human adenoviral vectors, ie two different shots, and the second shot increases the number of antibodies by six times Vs the first shot. And Russia is the only country in the world that has two different shots, and two shots work better, because if you do two shots from the same shot, immunity to the first shot prevents you from getting a strong response from the first shot. So, using adenovirus number 26 and adenovirus number 5 is how our technology works.
Few scientists have questioned the veracity of the data that you published in Lancet. What do you have to say about that?
Denis Logunov who has developed the vaccine has submitted the data that we have, and not the data the Italians should like. So, all data has been provided to Lancet, and what the Italian scientists don’t understand is that (laughs) Gamaleya has kept all samples from all the people. And all of this is open. So, their criticism has no merit.
Are you in talks with WHO for the COVAX agreement?
We are in discussion with GAVI, WHO to be part of COVAX program. And we believe that vaccines should be available to different countries without any discrimination and we believe that COVAX is a good platform to enable that.