Moscow: The head of the Russian Wealth Fund said on Friday that Russia will announce an agreement with AstraZeneca to produce the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical giant and Oxford University, adding that it shows that Moscow does not need to steal vaccine data .
The United Kingdom, Canada and the United States said on Thursday that hackers supported by the Russian government were trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world, but the Kremlin denied the allegation.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said in an interview on Friday that Moscow does not need to steal secrets because it has reached an agreement with AstraZeneca. Russia’s agreement to produce a potential British vaccine.
Dmitriyev said: “AstraZeneca has reached an agreement with R-Pharm (a Russian investment company) on the complete localization and production of the Russian Oxford vaccine.”
He said the deal may be officially announced later on Friday. Dmitriyev, who is involved in coordinating Russia’s own vaccine sales activities, told Reuters: “There is nothing to be stolen.” “All this will be given to Russia.”
AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but said last month that it is negotiating with Russia and other countries on a supply agreement for its potential coronavirus vaccine.
Dmitriyev said that Russia’s acquisition of the British-developed vaccine is to supplement rather than replace its own domestic vaccine, and Moscow is beginning to develop this vaccine.
He said that the Western allegation that Moscow tried to steal vaccine secrets looked like it was trying to destroy the credibility of Russia’s own vaccines, and together with Oxford vaccines and vaccines developed in China, described it as one of the most promising vaccines in the world. .
He said: “These attacks show that other countries have not adopted an open attitude, they are not satisfied with the success of the Russian vaccine, they are jealous that the Russian vaccine may be the first, and may be more effective than other countries.”
“This is part of a global (vaccine) competition.”
Dmitriev said that Russia’s own vaccine will be approved by regulatory authorities next month and will be administered to the majority of the Russian population in September. If this happens, it will make it the world’s first approved vaccine.
The first human trial of the vaccine was a one-month test of 38 people, which ended this week. The researchers concluded that although the intensity of the reaction is not yet known, it is safe to use and induce an immune response.
After the 100-person Phase 2 trial ended on August 3, it is expected that a larger Phase 3 trial involving thousands of people will begin in August.
Dmitriyev, who had himself received the Russian vaccine, said he believes this vaccine is superior to other vaccines. He said that its effect lasts longer, it is based on mature virus technology, and so far has not shown any side effects, including the impact on female fertility. Reuters could not confirm these claims.
He said that the global vaccine competition is about scientific prestige, international cooperation and Russia’s desire to vaccinate its own population as soon as possible to restore full economic activity.
Dmitriyev said that the introduction of a vaccine is not a lot of money, because this Russian-made vaccine will be sold at a non-profit price and will be free when delivered within Russia.
Russia’s interest in the Oxford vaccine, which he called “very good,” stems from the desire to help launch this vaccine internationally. He said that Moscow will provide the vaccine developed by the United Kingdom to other countries that it wants.