A combination between AstraZeneca and the first component of Sputnik V vaccine (Sputnik Light) demonstrates high immunogenicity profile in the clinical study in Azerbaijan

Press release, 20.08.2021

Moscow, August 20, 2021 – The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund), AstraZeneca and R-Pharm announce preliminary results on immunogenicity of combined use of the AstraZeneca vaccine (developed jointly with the University of Oxford) and the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine (Sputnik Light vaccine based on human adenovirus serotype 26) from the clinical trial of vaccines combination in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The heterogeneous boosting approach (“vaccine cocktail” using human adenovirus serotype 26 as the first component and human adenovirus serotype 5 as the second component) was at the core of Sputnik V, the world’s first registered vaccine against coronavirus. With this approach proving successful in creating a longer and more durable immunity against the coronavirus, RDIF took the lead in initiating partnerships with other vaccine producers to conduct joint studies of a combination of the first component of Sputnik V with foreign vaccines.

The first partnership of this kind was concluded in December 2020 in the presence of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. RDIF, the Gamaleya Center, AstraZeneca and R-Pharm signed a Memorandum of Intent aimed at cooperation in conducting joint clinical trial of safety and immunogenicity of a combination of AstraZeneca vaccine and the first component of Sputnik V.

Clinical trials in Azerbaijan began in February 2021. To date 64 volunteers have been vaccinated, the enrollment of volunteers is ongoing. Preliminary data from the first 20 participants shows antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein (S-protein) elicited in 100% of cases.

The interim analysis of data has previously demonstrated a high safety profile for the combined use of the vaccines with no serious adverse events or cases of coronavirus infection after vaccination.

Clinical trials of a combination of vaccines are being carried out in several countries as part of a global program. Volunteers are being vaccinated in UAE and Argentina while regulatory approval to conduct trials has been granted in Russia and Belarus.

Key advantages of Sputnik Light:

  • Sputnik Light is the first component (recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26)) of Sputnik V – the world’s first registered vaccine against coronavirus.
  • An efficacy level of almost 80% is higher than that of many two-dose vaccines.
  • Sputnik Light has proven effective against all new strains of coronavirus, as demonstrated by the Gamaleya Center during laboratory tests.
  • The Sputnik Light vaccine is based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector platform that has proven to be safe and effective, with no long-term side effects, as confirmed in over 250 clinical trials conducted globally over the past two decades (while the history of use of human adenoviruses in vaccine development started in 1953).

About the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford in conjunction with Vaccitech. It uses a replication-defective chimpanzee viral vector based on an attenuated version of the common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infection in chimpanzees, and contains genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is synthesized, which leads to the formation of an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 with possible subsequent infection with this virus.

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Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 80 projects with foreign partners totaling RUB 2.1tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 1 mn people and generate revenues which equate to more than 6% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF has established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 18 countries that total more than $40 bn. Further information can be found at rdif.ru

For additional information contact:

Alexey Urazov
Russian Direct Investment Fund
Director for External Communications

Mobile: +7 915 312 76 65
E-mail: Alexey.Urazov@rdif.ru

Andrew Leach / Maria Shiryaevskaya
Hudson Sandler

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133