AstraZeneca is set to conduct clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in combination with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine component, human adenoviral vector type Ad26.

Last month, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Gamaleya Center reported that preliminary data from the Sputnik V vaccine’s clinical trial showed an efficacy of 92%.

The latest move comes after RDIF and Gamaleya Center offered AstraZeneca to use a component of Sputnik V vaccine in the company’s trials.

AstraZeneca has accepted the proposal and will initiate trials by the end of this year.

This study will enable AstraZeneca scientists in analysing the chances of boosting their vaccine’s efficacy by applying the combination method.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev said: “This unique example of cooperation between scientists from different countries in jointly fighting coronavirus will play a decisive role in achieving a final victory over the pandemic globally.

“The decision by AstraZeneca to carry out clinical trials using one of two vectors of Sputnik V in order to increase its own vaccine’s efficacy is an important step towards uniting efforts in the fight against the pandemic.”

Sputnik V has a unique two-vector technology that combines two human adenoviral vectors to deliver a stronger and longer-term immune response as compared to other vaccines.

The Gamaleya Center scientists discovered the unique regimen with two different adenoviral vectors for a prime and a boost immunisation.

It aids in totally avoiding immunity to the first vector, which forms after the first vaccination and thereby helps in raising efficacy and generating long-term immunity.

Earlier this month, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and RDIF initiated adaptive Phase II/III clinical trials for Sputnik V vaccine in India.