Russian pharmaceutical company inks deal to release Oxford vaccine

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Intl desk, July 18: Russian pharmaceutical company R-Pharm has signed an agreement on production of a coronavirus vaccine developed by British-Swedish Astra Zeneca and the University of Oxford.

The company plans to supply the drug to 30-50 countries, said Alexey Repik, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Russian company, in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel, reports TASS, Russian news agency.

“We formalized this intention in the form of a signed agreement on production and supply of a vaccine that was developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, using the technological capabilities of R-Pharm to implement the project. Moreover, R-Pharm will act as a kind of hub for vaccine supplies to a huge number of countries – to 30, 40, 50 countries, including the countries of the Middle East, of Southeast Asia, European countries, of course, the CIS, and Russia,” Repik said.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China.

Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.