The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces initial safety results of the world’s first study of a combination between the AstraZeneca vaccine (developed jointly with the University of Oxford) and the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine (Sputnik Light vaccine based on human adenovirus serotype 26) in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Russian Direct Investment Fund
The heterogeneous boosting approach (“vaccine cocktail” using human adenovirus serotype 26 as the first component and human adenovirus serotype 5 as the second component) was at the core of Sputnik V, the world’s first registered vaccine against coronavirus. With this approach proving successful in creating a longer and more durable immunity against the coronavirus, RDIF took the lead in initiating partnerships with other vaccine producers to conduct joint studies of a combination of the first component of Sputnik V with foreign vaccines.
The first partnership of this kind was concluded in December 2020 in the presence of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. RDIF, The Gamaleya Center, AstraZeneca and R-Pharm signed a Memorandum of Intent aimed at cooperation in vaccine development.
Studies on safety and immunogenicity of the combination of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine in Azerbaijan began in February 2021. To date 50 volunteers have been vaccinated and new participants are invited to join the trial. Interim analysis of the data demonstrates a high safety profile for the combined use of the vaccines with no serious adverse events or cases of coronavirus after vaccination.
In August 2021, RDIF and partners will publish initial data on the immunogenicity of the combined use of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine in Azerbaijan.
Clinical trials of a combination of vaccines are being carried out in several countries as part of a global program. Volunteers are being vaccinated in UAE, and regulatory approval to conduct trials has been granted in Russia and Belarus.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said:
“As new strains of coronavirus emerge, partnerships between vaccine manufacturers and combining different vaccines are key to successfully fighting the pandemic. Based on the high efficacy of the heterogeneous boosting (“vaccine cocktail”) approach, RDIF was the first in the world to initiate partnerships with other coronavirus vaccine manufacturers. The first partnership of this kind was a joint clinical trial with AstraZeneca. We look forward to its success in Azerbaijan and other countries, which will allow a more effective implementation of vaccination programs and protect people around the world. We consider it important to conduct joint research on combining the first component of Sputnik V with vaccines from other manufacturers for a more effective fight against emerging new strains of coronavirus.”
Irina Panarina, General Manager, AstraZeneca Russia and Eurasia, said:
“A heterogeneous prime-boosting involving administering components of different vaccines to a patient is one of the most promising vaccination regimens to study. It is becoming especially relevant now, when the issue of preventing the spread of new strains of coronavirus infection is acute, and the need for revaccination of the population is also coming to a head. That is why the results of the study can be of great importance for those countries where both the vaccine by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and the Sputnik V vaccine are registered.”
Vasily Ignatiev, CEO of R-Pharm Group, commented:
“The initial results obtained at times when the delta strain is spreading are very important for assessing the safety and early efficacy of the vaccine combination. We will continue researching and analyzing the data with the prospect of a publication in an international journal.”
Key advantages of Sputnik Light:
- Sputnik Light is the first component (recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26)) of Sputnik V – the world”s first registered vaccine against coronavirus.
- An efficacy level of almost 80% is higher than that of many two-dose vaccines.
- Sputnik Light has proven effective against all new strains of coronavirus, as demonstrated by the Gamaleya Center during laboratory tests.
- Sputnik Light is compatible with standard vaccine storage and logistics requirements.
- The Sputnik Light vaccine is based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector platform that has proven to be safe and effective, with no long-term side effects, as confirmed in over 250 clinical trials conducted globally over the past two decades (while the history of use of human adenoviruses in vaccine development started in 1953).
About the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
The vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford in conjunction with Vaccitech. It uses a replication-defective chimpanzee viral vector based on an attenuated version of the common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infection in chimpanzees, and contains genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is synthesized, which leads to the formation of an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 with possible subsequent infection with this virus.
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF”s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 80 projects with foreign partners totaling RUB 2.1tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 1 mn people and generate revenues which equate to more than 6% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF has established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 18 countries that total more than $40 billion.
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