Sputnik V vaccine will be
produced by Arwan in Jadra
Factory all set to make 60 million doses starting from July
An agreement will be signed by mid-June between Arwan Pharmaceutical Industries (Arwan), based in Jadra (Chouf), and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for the production of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, said the Ministry of Industry.
Ruwayda Dham, Deputy Chairman at Arwan said: “Our factory is completely ready. We are scheduled to start production next month. We have the capacity to produce up to 60 million doses of the vaccine per year.”
She said that Arwan will be manufacturing Lebanon’s share in the Sputnik V vaccine which will be offered at a lower price than the Sputnik V imported by local companies since it is made locally.
The company will import the raw materials from Russia for the production of the vaccine.
“The product will also be exported. This will most likely be carried out by the Russian side. The final marketing details will be fine tuned once the agreement is signed. Regional countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Jordan are in talks to order the vaccine but nothing is official yet,” Dham said.
She said they will discuss with their Russian partners scenarios regarding investment and marketing details and that they don’t need additional financing for the time being in order to finance this project.
Arwan does not need an additional workforce for production but may hire people for marketing purposes. Dham said that they have a qualified and well-trained workforce because they already manufacture biopharmaceutical products. “In order to achieve know-how transfer, Russian experts will visit our factory and our technical staff will also go to Russia for training,” she said.
Arwan contacted RDIF in March with a proposal to consider the possible production of the Sputnik V vaccine in Lebanon. “We sent the necessary technical paperwork, and we are expecting the arrival of experts from the Gamaleya Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology,” Dham said.
In 2018, Arwan obtained a license to supply the Russian market with three kinds of drugs. Its pharmaceutical production facilities were inspected by Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade. The products are also approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In February, Lebanon authorized the emergency use of the Sputnik V vaccine. One month later, the government granted permission to Lebanese private companies to conduct talks with pharmaceutical firms producing Covid-19 vaccines. According to the Ministry of Public Health, rights were granted to 20 local enterprises with 13 of them planning to sign contracts with Russia.
Date Posted: Jun 01, 2021