Why Dr Reddy’s had to shut all its units

Security breach came days after the firm got approval to conduct trials for Covid-19 vaccine candidate Sputnik V.

Days after Hyderabad-based drug major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) received approval from the Indian drug regulator to conduct phase-2 and 3 trials of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine candidate Sputnik V, the company had to shut its plants across the globe after a cyber attack on its servers.

This is the second such attack on entities conducting vaccine research or trial.

In July, Chinese hackers stole information from Spanish laboratories working on a Covid-19 vaccine, according to international news agencies.

Sources said the company is currently reviewing its IT network systems and trying to analyse how the breach occurred.

It did not disclose details on what impact this shutdown would have on its manufacturing operations.

The firm has 17 manufacturing plants and six research and development (R&D) centres in India.

Globally, it has three R&D centres and six manufacturing units.

The company draws nearly 80 per cent of its revenues from exports and has plants in Brazil, Russia, UK and the US.

The breach is likely to have occurred in the wee hours of Thursday.

The vaccine candidate will first be tested on 100 volunteers before proceeding to a larger trial.

After a meeting on October 16, the Subject Expert Committee on Covid-19 vaccines and drugs noted, “The firm should generate safety and immunogenicity data on 100 subjects in Phase II clinical trial and submit for evaluation before proceeding to Phase III clinical trial.”

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