NEW DELHI: Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Hyderabad-based Virchow Biotech on Monday announced an agreement to produce up to 200 million doses of Sputnik-V vaccine in India.

The technology transfer is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 followed by full-scale commercial production of Sputnik-V, RDIF and Virchow Biotech said in a joint statement.

Virchow Biotech capacities will help facilitate the global supply of Sputnik-V to international partners of RDIF, it added.

"The agreement with Virchow Biotech is an important step to facilitate the full-scale local production of the vaccine in India and to supply our international partners globally," RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said.

According to the statement, the efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6 per cent as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet. "We are glad to sign a cooperation agreement with RDIF to produce the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

Virchow's proven capabilities in large scale drug substance manufacturing should help meet the global demand for this vaccine", Virchow Biotech MD Tummuru Murali said. On March 19, RDIF and India's Stelis Biopharma said they have partnered to produce and supply a minimum of 200 million doses of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.