South Korea reveals plans on production of “Sputnik V”

South Korean companies, under a contract with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), have formed another consortium for the production of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, have agreed on a technology transfer and are planning to release a trial batch in August, Huons Global told the reporters.

South Korea reveals plans on production of "Sputnik V"

Huons Global announced Friday on its official website that it has entered into a contract with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and will lead the Sputnik V Russian vaccine consortium, which will produce “over 100 million doses per month”. In addition to Huons Global, the consortium includes three other local companies – Prestige BioPharma, Humedix and Boran Pharma.

As the company explained to the reporters, the consortium of South Korean manufacturers created by Huons Global will complement the consortium of seven companies organized by GL Rapha (Hankook Korus). In August, it is planned to start production of a test batch, after the production of which it is still necessary to undergo a validation procedure. At the same time, the announced by Huons Global the creation of capacities for the production of 100 million doses does not mean the existence of a contract for the supply of the corresponding volumes, but the company said it would act in accordance with RDIF requests.

“So far, we cannot disclose detailed schedules for the receipt of equipment and the establishment of production, as well as volume obligations, but we can inform about them later. Supply volumes, amounts and other details are currently subject to non-disclosure under the contract. However, we can confirm that we have agreed on a technology transfer”, – Kim Hyo Eun, head of the press service of Huons Global, said in an interview.

According to her, the Sputnik V production technology will receive Huons Global as the main one in the consortium, but each company has its own roles, and together they plan to establish mass production. At the same time, Humedix, also announced as a member of the GL Rapha consortium, will be a member of both consortia.

On Thursday, it was reported that a consortium of South Korean companies led by GL Rapha plans to produce a total of 500 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine for export to other countries, while GL Rapha itself previously contracted with RDIF to create another 150 million doses of the vaccine, in total 650 million doses. At the moment, the technology transfer of GL Rapha has already been completed, a trial batch has been created and sent to Russia. Full-scale commercial production is expected to begin soon.

The entire declared volume will be created for export. As GL Rapha previously stated, the companies are ready to ship the vaccine wherever RDIF directs. In South Korea itself, the Russian vaccine is not yet used, and the South Korean government has previously reported that it has not yet received an official application from Russia for approval of the use of Sputnik V in South Korea.

Huons Global is a holding that unites a number of companies working in the pharmaceutical industry, traces its history back to 1965. The main production site is located in Jecheon City, 100 kilometers southeast of Seoul. At the end of last year, Humedix, a member of the holding, announced that it had received permission in Russia for the emergency use of its COVID-19 antigen test and received orders for more than 1 million kits.

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