BioCubaFarma, the entity that connects the Cuban biotechnology industry with pharmaceutics, is currently developing 450 research projects to enlarge the country’s possibilities to produce medicines, replace imports and enhance the portfolio of exporting products.
Its first vice president, Dr. Eduardo Martínez, commented that the company is manufacturing 525 of the 849 products included in the program of basic medicine, while it is sparing no efforts to significantly reduce those imported from distant countries such as China and India. Cuba currently imports 300 of those products.
“If Cuba were to import the medical products currently produced by the national industry, it would have to spend more than $1.5 billion annually,” said Martínez.
In the first trimester of 2016, BioCubaFarma experienced certain recovery with regards to productive lines and basic medicines (around 60) that were in short supply during the first semester of 2015, explained the vice president of operations, Teresita Rodríguez.
Being the main supplier of medicines, diagnosis kits, technology and equipment for the national health system, the business group ensures the continuation and efficiency of the programs on immunization, diabetes, cancer, detection of congenital diseases during pregnancy, and population aging, among others.
With the constant challenge of improving the Cuban people’s health and contributing to the country’s economic wellbeing, the entity attained major results in 2015 such as the patent in Cuba for the nasal therapeutic vaccine HeberNasvac, the only one of its kind in the world for treating chronic hepatitis B.
The entity also successfully completed phase II of the clinical trials of the vaccine against cholera, paving the way for a third phase of clinical trials. If this phase were to be successful, the product would be approved for its use among the population.
Another major achievement was the generalized use in the country of Heberprot-P, a leading product developed by the institution for treating diabetic foot ulcers that has avoided some 12,000 amputations of different degrees.
During the previous year, BioCubaFarma, which groups together 31 enterprises, had registered Nimotuzumab, a monoclonal antibody for pancreas tumors. Similarly, it has helped extend the life of advanced lung cancer patients with the therapeutic vaccine CIMAvax-EGF, and has ensured a larger supply of kits for the early detection of cervical and colon/ rectum cancer.
A total of 136 new registrations of patents have been made abroad, informed Eduardo Martinez, who also praised the importance of a new product in its development phase: CIGB 500. This medicine has a noticeable cardio-protective effect by reducing the infarction area by 78.7 percent.
According to the specialist, the antibody RituxiMab has also been tested favorably in patients with non Hodgkins lymphoma.
The entity´s greatest challenge for the near future is to continue enlarging the productive capacities through new investments that allow for the diversification of the offers for the home market as well as the international one.
“This is a highly controlled industry that entails a continual investment process, but we have a highly qualified human capital and a strong researchdevelopment system that will enable us to maintain the world’s leading position attained by the Cuban biotechnology” he remarked.Share on FB Share on TT