MOSCOW, July 18. /TASS/. Russian pharmaceutical company R-Pharm signed an agreement on production of a coronavirus vaccine developed by British-Swedish AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. The company plans to supply the drug to 30-50 countries, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Russian company Alexey Repik said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel.
"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, including the countries of Southeast Asia, European countries, of course, the CIS, and Russia," Repik said.
The pharmaceutical company noted that the vaccine is currently undergoing research, which should determine how well it protects against coronavirus, and estimate its safety and immune response in humans.
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.