Russia's R-Pharm signs deal to make UK-developed COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian drugmaker R-Pharm has signed a deal with AstraZeneca for it to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the British pharmaceuticals giant and Oxford University, it said on Friday.

Following allegations from Britain, Canada and the United States that hackers backed by Russia were trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research, the head of Russia’s wealth fund said the deal showed that Moscow has no need to steal anything.

“We have formalised this plan in the form of signed agreements in the area of production and supply of the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, using R-Pharm to fulfil the project,” said R-Pharm’s board chairman, Alexey Repik.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by David Goodman