According to Nairametrics, A top government official has revealed that Russia could make available a vaccine for the treatment of the coronavirus disease as early as September.
This announcement is coming after Russia had denied that hackers working for the country’s intelligence agency tried to steal sensitive data from researchers in the UK, US, and Canada.
The head of the Russian wealth fund, while stating that a deal has been agreed with AstraZeneca to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the pharmaceutical giant and Oxford University, explained that there was no need for Russia to steal vaccine data.
According to the Chief Executive of government-backed Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, ‘’Russia may be one of the first to produce a vaccine against the backdrop of the billions that are being invested in the U.S. and all the pharma companies working on it. It’s a little bit of a shocking story.” The RDIF is financing one of the country’s efforts to develop a vaccine.’’
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has made finding a vaccine a top priority as the country has recorded more than 750,000 COVID-19 cases. This makes it the fourth-most affected country in the world.
The approach that is being employed by Russia in the race to be the first country to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 would be ignored in other countries. Moscow claims that it will know in just 3 months of trials if its leading candidate works.
Dmitriev’s comments are coming against the backdrop of accusations from the U.K., U.S., and Canada, that hackers working with the group APT29, part of Russian military intelligence, had used malware to try to seize vaccine research.
The RDIF boss pointed out that Russia had no need to steal information from rival vaccine developers because it had already signed a deal with AstraZeneca Plc to manufacture the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine at R-Pharm, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Russia. R-Pharma is an RDIF portfolio company.
He said AstraZeneca is transferring the entire technological process and all ingredients for the full reproduction of the vaccine in Russia.
He said, ‘’Everything that is needed to produce the British vaccine has already been transferred to R-Pharm. AstraZeneca has already signed commitments to transfer all production of the British vaccine to R-Pharm.“