The history of the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums begins in 1886 with the creation of special medical institutions for carrying out vaccinations against rabies, then called "Pasteur stations".

1886 – 1917

  • 1886

    On the initiative and at the personal expense of His Imperial Highness Prince Alexander Petrovich of Ladenburg, the Pasteur Station in St. Petersburg began operating at the Holy Trinity Community of Sisters of Mercy, of which he was the trustee. The reason for establishing the station was the bite by a rabid dog of an officer of the cavalry regiment under the command of the prince. The officer was cured in Paris, in the laboratory of Louis Pasteur, with whom the prince was personally acquainted. In addition, Russia and its capital, St. Petersburg, had an extremely unfavorable situation for rabies. In the first six months of its work, a total of 815 persons were vaccinated at the Pasteur station.
  • 1888

    The work on the establishment of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, the first Russian research institution in the field of medicine and biology, began.


    Construction of the Institute "for the study of infectious diseases” was completed. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov carried out experiments, which brought him the Nobel Prize in 1904.
  • 1895

    The mass production of anti-diphtheria serum – the first serum medicinal product in Russia, and a number of other vaccines and antitoxic serums was launched. Establishment of courses to familiarize doctors with the basics of serotherapy and courses to train everyone in the methods of making medicinal sera were organized.


    A special laboratory for the study of plague and the development of anti-plague vaccines and serums was organized in Fort Alexander I to the west of Kronstadt, where the anti-plague vaccine was subsequently developed and prepared for 18 years.
  • The technology of dry serum products was developed in Russia for the first time; however, it did not become widespread at that time, since it was ahead of not only the country's technical capabilities, but even the needs of practical medicine. The Pasteur Station is a part of the Institute's vaccination department. The staff of the station not only received patients, but also carried out researches to study the rabies virus and create vaccines against it.
  • Pasteur Stations served as a catalyst for the development of microbiology as a science in the country.


    A society of microbiologists was established in St. Petersburg. Despite the small number of its staff (only 5 doctors-scientists), employees of the serum-vaccine department, along with the manufacture of vaccines against rabies and tuberculin discovered by Koch, an immunological drug for the diagnosis of tuberculosis, took an active part in the fight against numerous epidemics of that time: plague, cholera, typhus, diphtheria and other contagious diseases.
  • 1904

    Study of the causes of various infectious diseases and development of methods to combat them.


    A special laboratory was created to control the production and sale of serums, toxins and vaccines at the Imperial Institute

1917 – 1945
  • Vaccines and serums production department became the most important source of immunological drugs for the population and took over the organization of the fight against infectious diseases in the USSR. The department produced 15 types of bacterial preparations.


    The development of scarlet fever-streptococcal toxin began. Specific prevention of coccal infections was carried out, and antipneumococcal sera were prepared.
  • 1929-1930

    For the first time in the country, the manufacture of tetanus toxoid and its use for specific prevention of tetanus were mastered. In the mid-30s, the IEM serum and vaccine department included the following units: experimental, anaerobic, vaccine, tuberculin, scarlet fever, diphtheria, antirabies, antitoxic sera; epidemiological sector, clinic of children's infections, immunoclinic; chemical, biochemical and control laboratories, bacteriological unit (culture media), vivarium, filling and packaging departments, etc.
  • A separate building on the embankment at the fork of the Bolshaya and Malaya Nevka rivers was provided for the serum department. The department took an active part in the fight against infectious diseases of epidemic spread in Leningrad.


    Active immunization of children against diphtheria was carried out. Over 100,000 children were vaccinated with diphtheria toxoid and a 13-fold effect was gained: the vaccinated children were sick 13 times less than the unvaccinated ones. This marked the beginning of active immunization of the city children against diphtheria, resulting in zero registered cases of the terrible childhood disease in the city.
  • 1934

    Mass immunization of the city population against typhoid fever was carried out. 1,800,000 people were vaccinated, the morbidity rate decreased significantly, and by 1935 the death rate in Leningrad was 3.0 cases per 100,000 people.
  • 1938 - 1945

    The serum and vaccine department of the Institute of Experimental Medicine was separated into an independent institute of the USSR Ministry of Health and was named "Leningrad Scientific Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums", becoming the only independent institution of this profile in the country. In the pre-war years, preparations were developed and produced for the specific prevention of wound and intestinal infections, as well as for the prevention of childhood infections. A combined vaccine (tetanus toxoid and trivaccine) was created. High titer sera and anaerobic phage against gas gangrene were developed;
  • 1942

    Tablets for enteral immunization against dysentery and dysbacteriophage were emergently produced. By order of the Government of the USSR, LenSRIVS was equated with defense enterprises.


    Production of an antibiotic – native penicillin, which the great Soviet scientist Zinaida Ermolyeva was able to isolate in its pure form. Production of an encephalitis vaccine for the troops of the Far East.
1946 – 2020
  • In the post-war years, the production of immunological drugs was transferred to a new technological level, the enterprise was equipped with the state-of-the-art machinery, and applied the newest methodological methods of scientific research. The freeze drying method was mastered. Diphtheria and tetanus toxoid, dry tuberculin, dry monoreceptor sera and preparations for serological diagnosis of salmonellosis were developed, the production of anti-influenza drugs started.


    By an order of the USSR Minister of Health, the Institute began testing the medicinal properties of the new anticancer drug "KR".
  • 1952

    Under the leadership of Academician A.A. Smorodintsev and Yu. K. Petrov, the production of influenza vaccine and diagnostic preparations (live influenza vaccine, influenza diagnostics, influenza therapeutic and diagnostic sera) was organized.


    An epidemiological team was created to test the effectiveness of drugs produced.
  • 1960

    The production department of the institute receives the status of an enterprise for the production of bacterial and viral preparations. Beginning of operation in the development and production of diagnostic products.


    Purified dry tuberculin in standard dilution was developed and put into production (M.A. Linnikova).
  • 1964

    Tuberculin developed at LenSRIVS was approved by the World Health Organization as a National Standard. Poly- and monovalent diagnostic sera for intestinal bacteria, production technologies of a number of enzyme preparations were developed. The production of Salmonella diagnostic sera began. Polyvalent sera with a wide range of specific antibodies were created. The production of agglutinating sera for the identification of Arizona bacteria, sera for forensic medical research and meningococcal diagnostic sera was mastered.
  • 1970-1976

    Construction of a special research and production complex in Krasnoe Selo, where the modern SPbSRIVS is located. The enterprise is equipped at a state-of-the-art level. The department of sera for forensic purposes - the only one in the country at that time - was opened. Export of sera to Cuba. The production of fundamentally new highly effective drugs was organized: inactivated influenza vaccine, interferon, collalisin, streptodecase, ELISA kits and many other immunobiological drugs.
  • 1980-1988

    Under the guidance of the Institute’s director Rosalia Nikolaevna Radionova, the Institute achieved outstanding results in the scientific, practical and international activities.
  • From 1886 to 1990, LenSRIVS developed and put into production a total of about 200 types of immunobiological drugs.
  • 1990-2013

    Development and production of bacterial immunobiological drugs.


    V.I. Skvortsova opened the production of a full cycle of influenza vaccines complying with the GMP standards SPbSRIVS became a full member of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and the Influenza Vaccine Suppliers Association (IVC).


    The first Russian vaccine received marketing authorization in Latin America
  • 2016

    The first batch of Russian influenza vaccine was delivered to Cuba and Nicaragua


    The first batch of the diagnostic drug for early detection of tuberculosis was delivered to Cuba. SPbSRIVS joined the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers’ Network (DCVMN)
  • 2018

    SPbSRIVS registered in-house developed product – Flu-M influenza vaccine. For the first time, Flu-M was supplied for the national vaccination calendar. SPbSRIVS received a GMP certificate from the Medicines Control Board of Iran


    Start of production at Instituto MECHNIKOV Instituto MECHNIKOV, established as part of the Russian-Nicaraguan project in Managua, began producing commercial batches of the influenza vaccine. The WHO confirmed the quality of influenza vaccines produced by SPbSRIVS.
  • 2020

    Quality management system audit for compliance with GOST ISO 13485-2017 (ISO 13485:2016) was passed successfully. Opening of our own research and development (R&D) center. The World Health Organization (WHO) included the first Russian development of SPbSRIVS in the list of candidate vaccines against COVID-19. SPbSRIVS was included in the list of strategic enterprises of the pharmaceutical and medical industry. WHO prequalification of the Russian influenza vaccine was started.