Russia begins process to supply Mexico with 32 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine

Russia will sell Mexico 32 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine

Russia begins process to supply Mexico with 32 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine
A new vaccine is on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia – Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
English 18/09/2020 17:22 Mexico City Rossi Sotelo, Susana Zavala & Perla Miranda/EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 16:46

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The Russian government officially delivered Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) the materials available on the clinical trials for the Sputnik V vaccine, so now “the ball is in the Mexican field,” as revealed by Russia’s ambassador in Mexico, Víktor Koronelli.

In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, he said that his government is in permanent communication with the Mexican government regarding vaccine matters.

“These matters were addressed in the meeting I had with Minister Marcelo Ebrard, moreover, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (SRE), the Health Ministry, the COFEPRIS, and the CONACyT participated in the videoconference with the Russian Fund for Direct Investment and the Gamaleya National Center, which is the scientific institution responsible for the development of the biological. In summary, the contact between our governments is established,” he asserts.

The ambassador mentioned the relevance of the progress done by the Russian Federation so that the Sputnik V vaccine begins its phase 3, which Mexico is expected to join and which is vital because that would provide certainty on its safety and efficient because, he asserts, phase 1 and 2 had positive results among volunteers, which included one of the daughters of Russia’s president as well as other government officials.

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Koronelli said that currently, the major task is to conclude the clinical trials of the vaccines developed by different countries as well as easing and ensuring access to them to the general population.

“Speaking of Sputnik V, it must be said that the phase 1 and 2 of its clinical trials have been concluded successfully and we’re already at the last and third phase that involves 40,000 volunteers. It must be stressed that no volunteers have presented adverse effects.”

The Mexican pharmaceutical company Landsteiner Scientific has confirmed the import of 32 million doses of Sputnik V from Russia. The company has over two decades of experience and has been a supplier for the federal government since the Vicente Fox administration.

Through its subsidiaries, Landsteiner Scientific has obtained 821 public contracts since 2003; as Ladnsteiner Pharma, it got MXN $6,552,894,135 in contracts; as Landsteiner Scientific, it obtained MXN $2,334,790,165, and as Landsteiner Diagnósticos, it got MXN $838,969,196.

On September 9, the Russian government revealed it signed an agreement with the Mexican pharmaceutical Company to send 32 million vaccines against COVID-19 and cover 25% of the national population. The agreement was directly made between the company and the Russian government without the intervention of the Mexican government.

Landsteiner Scientific was founded in January 1998 by Miguel Antonio Granados Cervera – its current president -, his mother, Carolina Cervera Ramírez, and his partner Francisco Javier Isla Salvatori in the city of Toluca, State of Mexico.

In 28 years, the pharmaceutical has created three national subsidiaries, one abroad, two industrial plants, a foundation, owns nearly 1,000 brands before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), and obtained dozens of licenses approved by COFEPRIS.

On December 8, 2000, the Company opened a subsidiary called Landsteiner Scientific LLC in North Carolina, U.S., and was liquidated in November 2018.

Its most recent division was constituted in 2019 in Mexico City as Landsteiner Cannabis Health which is focused on the investigation and elaboration of products derived from marijuana.

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Another of its projects is the consolidation of a pharmacies chain and is registering several brands, which could include the name of the next vaccine against SARS.CoV-2.

Mexico’s COVID-19 czar Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez informed that health authorities held a meeting with Landsteiner Scientific.

Through his Twitter account, the health official mentioned that meeting took place in order to know the details of the agreement between the Mexican pharmaceutical company and Vladimir Putin’s government.

“The Russian government has promoted its vaccine and has done preliminary agreements with a Mexican company focused on the distribution of supplies and the production of certain technical equipment; as far as it’s known, the purpose of this agreement is for the Russian government to have a mechanism to distribute its vaccine and in this case, it’s a private entity, it is not related to the federal government; if it happens, the government has nothing to say; it could even ease the access to the vaccine, whether they are 32 million, 50 or 100 or 2, any doses, all of them must go through health verification,” López-Gatell said in previous days.

The pharmaceutical company said, “bringing Sputnik V to Mexico is evidence of Landsteiner Scientific’s commitment to the health of the population so that our country can overcome the COVID-19 contingency as soon as possible and we are able to write a new history.”

The National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT) will have a fundamental role in deciding which COVID-19 vaccine will enter Mexico; it will be in charge of identifying the technical characteristics of the candidate vaccines with a scientific committee.

After announcing Mexico’s Health Ministry held a meeting with Landsteiner Scientific, Hugo López-Gatell said that besides the health verification any product must undergo to enter into the country, the CONACYT will have a key role in the selection of the vaccine.

“CONACYT’s governing role has not been properly used; today, we have a character with extraordinary scientific skills. In strict compliance with its functions, the CONACYT must be the governing entity in science, innovation, and technological development in Mexico.

“We are channeling the efforts to identify the technical characteristics of the candidate vaccines against COVID-19 through a scientific committee established by the CONACYT and we recognize it from the Health Ministry,” he said.

He added that the meeting was requested by the pharmaceutical company’s representatives in order to register the Russian vaccine in Mexico.

He added there is no prejudice against the vaccine produced by scientists at the Gamaleya Center but stressed that the evidence must speak for itself and prove it has the necessary characteristics to obtain the health registry. Hence, he said this procedure is the same for any pharmaceutical product that pretends to enter into Mexico.

López-Gatell denied the meeting had the objective of reaching financial agreements and stressed that it was in order to know the elements of collaboration of the Mexican laboratory with Vladimir Putin’s government.

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