23 Aug 2022 10:35

Russia's Gamaleya Center adapts Sputnik V to fight Delta, Omicron variants of Covid-19

MOSCOW. Aug 23 (Interfax) - The Russian Health Ministry's Gamaleya Center and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have announced the customization of the Sputnik V vaccine to the Delta and Omicron variants of the novel coronavirus, including the mutation seen in the Omicron variant sub-lineage BA.5 and absent in sub-lineage BA.1.

"In the course of the pandemic, the Gamaleya Center has been actively studying new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and respectively adapting the Sputnik V vaccine. The new vaccine version has been developed with due account of the specific features of the Delta variant and the Omicron variant that has been largely prevailing in the world in recent months. The drug has been composed with due account of the L-452-R mutation, which is present in the Omicron variant sub-lineage BA.5 and absent in the sub-lineage BA.1," the RDIF said in a statement on Tuesday.

The new version of Sputnik V against the Delta and Omicron variants is the most promising version of the vaccine adapted to fight the strains, in particular, compared to similar drugs combined to fight the Wuhan strain and Omicron, it said.

"The adapted Sputnik V vaccine against the Delta and Omicron variants provides a significant decrease in viral load in the lungs in animals infected with Omicron variant sub-lineage BA.5," the RDIF said.

The current Sputnik V version continues to demonstrate excellent results by preventing hospitalizations and deaths, the RDIF said. A survey published by an academic team of City Clinical Hospital No. 67 named after L.A. Vorokhobov and the Gamaleya Center in the Vaccines medical journal in July 2022 estimates the Sputnik V efficacy in the prevention of hospitalizations of Omicron patients at 97%, while the efficacy in the prevention of critical cases stands at 99,4% when boosted with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V re-vaccination, it said.

"The Sputnik V vaccine variant customized to the new strains will also achieve high results in the prevention of infections," the RDIF said.

The RDIF is the main investor in the development and production of the Sputnik V two-component coronavirus vaccine and the Sputnik Light single-component vaccine, both of which are designed by the Gamaleya Center. Sputnik V has been approved for use in 71 countries with a total population exceeding 4 billion, while Sputnik Light has received approval in over 30 countries.