Persistent Suspicion – Did a Russian Spy Steal the Formula for Sputnik V Vaccine at Oxford University?

Published

Did Russia use a mole at Oxford University to lead the race for the first Sputnik V vaccine? There is suspicion in the room that the vaccine was copied from Oxford / AstraZeneca.

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Employees produce the vaccine Sputnik V. This is said to have been copied from Oxford / AstraZeneca.

Rider

Both AstraZeneca and Sputnik V use the same technology.

Both AstraZeneca and Sputnik V use the same technology.

Reuters

A spy in the service of Russia is said to have stolen a blueprint of the vaccine from a research facility at Oxford University.

A spy in the service of Russia is said to have stolen a blueprint of the vaccine from a research facility at Oxford University.

Reuters

  • British intelligence reports say a Russian spy stole the formula of the Covid-19 vaccine Oxford / AstraZeneca.

  • The vaccine was then copied in Russia in order to win the race for the first vaccine with its own preparation Sputnik V.

  • In addition, Russian trolls tried to make the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine look bad.

Medical research institutions are usually not among the preferred targets of hackers. But as early as July 2020, cyber experts from the British authorities had voiced the suspicion that a group operating under the names APT 29, Cozy Bear or The Dukes had been cyber espionage at vaccine companies around the world since March. The British experts suspect that the order to do this should have come from the Kremlin, reported the at the time “Pharmaceutical Newspaper”: The group operates “almost safely” as part of Russian intelligence services, according to a statement from the National Cyber ​​Security Center NCSC. British scientists announced around a month earlier that they had started developing a vaccine.

Now, again, allegations are being made against Moscow. As the «Daily Mail» reported, Russia was again accused on Monday of stealing the blueprint for the vaccine at Oxford University and then copying it in order to win the global race for the first Covid-19 vaccine with its own Sputnik V vaccine.

Secret service agents in London had evidence that a so-called mole had succeeded in obtaining a blueprint for the still top secret vaccine from Oxford / AstraZeneca for Russia – however, it is unclear whether it is a document or a vial of the vaccine itself that was smuggled out of the country for analysis. The goal was to copy the vaccine and thus accelerate the development of a proprietary vaccine.

Negative campaign against Pfizer driven

In April 2020, Oxford / AstraZeneca announced that it had started clinical trials on humans – and a month later, Vladimir Putin announced that Sputnik V was the first vaccine against Covid-19. President Vladimir Putin announced in June this year that he had been vaccinated with Sputnik V and had not felt any side effects. It later turned out loudly that the vaccine works exactly the same as the one from Oxford / AstraZeneca: Both are vector vaccines that use a different virus to smuggle the immune response against corona into the body. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen commented on the reports: “We know Britain has the best scientists and research laboratories, but Russia probably has the best spies.”

In July of this year, Russian trolls were accused of running a negative campaign against the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine with the aim of promoting their own vaccine. A report from Network Contagion Research Institute from July describes how targeted negative reports, for example about the Pfizer vaccine, were distributed, focusing on certain countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and Canada, as these were considered to be potential buyers of the Sputnik vaccine.

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