Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Stuck With Huge Stock Of Sputnik Light, Indian Company Seeks PM’s Help
New Delhi: Indian pharmaceutical company Stelis Biopharma are in a fix.
They are stuck with a stock of 2.5 crore units of the single-dose Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine, unable to sell it amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
And now, they have approached the Indian Prime Minister for help.
The Bengaluru-based Stelis Biopharma, the biopharmaceutical arm of Strides Pharma Science, has requested Narendra Modi for procurement of the vaccine jabs to inoculate Indian citizens or supply to those to other countries under Vaccine Maitri programme.
Stelis Biopharma had entered into an agreement in March 2021 with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, to produce and supply the vaccine.
India’s drugs regulator DCGI granted emergency use permission to Sputnik Light, subject to certain regulatory provisions, in February 2022. However, the Russian vaccine is not yet being administered in India.
Stelis Biopharma Founder and Director Arun Kumar said in the letter that after the PM had requested the industry to gear up to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm invested over Rs 700 crore to set up a state-of the-art vaccine manufacturing facility within six months and commenced production of Sputnik Light.
The company had received government approval to export the vaccine too.
“We are proud to state that after having been granted due approvals by the Government of India, we started manufacturing Sputnik Light in India and produced no less than 2.5 crore vaccine doses. However, due to several constraints related to Russia, these vaccines are lying unsold with us at present,” Kumar stated.
If the government doesn’t acquire the available doses, these will get wasted and the company will face a huge financial loss, Kumar pointed out.
The single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine is same as component-1 of Sputnik V.