Latin America

Pilot Batch of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine Produced in Brazil, Russian Embassy Says

MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Brazil’s Bthek Biotecnologia company has produced a pilot batch of Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, which will be now sent to Moscow for certification, the Russian embassy in Brazil said.

“On March 30, Russian Ambassador Alexey Labetskiy visited Bthek Biotecnologia, where a pilot batch of Sputnik V vaccine components has just been manufactured and will be sent to Moscow for certification and verification, including at the Gamaleya Institute,” the embassy wrote on Facebook late on Tuesday.

Bthek Biotecnologia is part of Uniao Quimica pharmaceutical company — the Brazilian partner of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund that is behind Sputnik V exports. Uniao Quimica started the production of the Russian coronavirus vaccine in January.

The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) refused to grant Uniao Quimica authorisation for the emergency use of the Russian vaccine in January. In February, after Anvisa approved a new protocol that simplifies the issuance of authorisation for the emergency use of drugs tested abroad, the drug maker resubmitted the application jointly with the RDIF.

Brazil has so far greenlighted three coronavirus vaccines — those developed by Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

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