Russia Likely to Win the Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine Beating Dominant Western Pharma to the Finish Line

The Russian vaccine COVID-19  clinical trials should be fully completed by the end of July which is way ahead of all the other contenders. If Russia beats everyone to the finish line they could see their vaccine adopted by most of the world thereby hurting the bottom line of western Pharma.



Russia announced on Wednesday that it has completed the first human clinical trials of a vaccine against COVID-19, which should be fully completed by the end of July.

Related: The BCG a Tuberculosis Vaccine Boosts Immune Cells and Reduces Risk of Other Infections

Under the direction of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Nikolai Gamalaya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, these trials began in mid-June in a prestigious military hospital in Moscow with a group of volunteers consisting of mainly Russian military personnel but also civilians.

The first group of 18 volunteers “ended their participation and left the hospital,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Wednesday. The main task of the group was to check the safety of the vaccine and the tolerance of the human organism to its components according to the same source. The volunteers spent 28 days in the hospital after the vaccination on 18 June and were examined daily.

“Their immune response is good”

During this time, the vital functions of their bodies remained “within normal limits” without any “undesirable effects or serious complications”, the declaration states. “Their immunity is good, antibodies are formed, and they are protected against the coronavirus,” said Svetlana Voltchikhina, a medical therapist co-director of the trials, in a video broadcast from the Ministry of Defense.

“We now know that we are 100% protected and we are not afraid to leave the hospital,” said Iouri, a hired soldier who participated in the trials and was quoted in the video as saying he had left the hospital. The second group of 20 volunteers who were vaccinated on 23 June is currently in hospital isolation under medical supervision, according to the statement.

Related: Can the World Produce Enough Vaccine For Coronavirus?

Russia expects that the vaccine could be ready for final approval by mid-august if all goes well until then.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) head Kirill Dmitriev said he expects the vaccine to be already approved and ready for mass manufacturing by September.  With five countries with which they have manufacturing deals, they could reach 170 million doses by next year.

Clinical trials of the vaccine are expected to be completed by the end of July, he added. Russia has registered 752,797cases of coronavirus, including 11,937 deaths, according to official figures released on Thursday.


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