Cuba Prepares a Cholera Vaccine

BioCubaFarmaHAVANA TIMES — Cuba prepares a preventive vaccine against cholera that it will start using in 2015 and make available to the World Health Organization (WHO), reported dpa news on Sunday.

The vaccine is still in clinical trials and is a “highly innovative, very safe and very effective” product according to Gustavo Sierra, vice president of state-owned BioCubaFarma.

In August 2012 cholera reappeared in Cuba, eradicated from the island since the Spanish colonial era, leaving three dead and over four hundred affected, officials said. Another outbreak was detected in the summer of 2013 with fifty confirmed cases.

“Although in Cuba the level of medical attention keeps the life of those infected virtually out of danger, this is a condition capable of killing,” said Sierra.

BioCubaFarma has also conducted clinical trials of a vaccine against seven types of pneumococci in children between one and five years of age that can be vaccinated starting next year.

The drug company is also working on a future therapeutic hepatitis B vaccine that researchers say will be an improvement over existing antiviral products. Likewise it will improve the quality of life of patients while preventing cirrhosis or death.

Biotechnology is one of the priority sectors under the economic reforms being implemented by the government of Raul Castro. Exports of Cuban medicines are estimated at $900 million annually.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Cuba Prepares a Cholera Vaccine

  • November 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm
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    Cholera vaccines have been produced for over a hundred years and used world wide for many years with oral vaccines in the lead. No doubt the publicity about the State owned BioCubaFarma vaccines is intended to divert attention away from LABIOFAM another State owned company managed by the nephew of Raul Castro Ruz and which produced the male perfumes Ernesto and Hugo resulting in fury by the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers at the desecration of two “sacred” figures and the promise that the responsible people would be punished.
    Dr. Jose A. Praga Castro as Director General of LABIOFAM then wrote grovelling letters of apology to the families of Ernesto Guevara and Hugo Chavez on September 26, 2014 accusing AP news agency of:
    “a malicious and distorted focus of tthe scientific presentations which occurred in the recently concluded Congress LABIOFAM 2014.”
    Dr. Praga Castro then explained that the responsible researcher Mario Valdes Rodriguez had suggested naming the two perfumes Ernesto and Hugo “as his tribute to these giants of history'” and that “the malicious American agency journalist” had “once again fed the voracious disinformation campaign submitted to the world.”
    The furious response from the Ministerial Executive Committee describing Ernesto Guevara and Hugo Chavez as sacred poses an interesting question for the world at large. If Guevara and Chavez are dieties, are Raul and Fidel living gods or does such disctinction have to await demise?

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  • November 25, 2014 at 8:29 am
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    I am not sure what is newsworthy here. Cholera vaccines are nothing new. In fact, cholera has been largely eradicated around the world except in the poorest most underdeveloped countries. Nonetheless, if the lastest Cuban version is cheaper to produce and readily available where it is still needed, then there is value to it being produced. For perspective, while Cuba claims “exports of Cuban medicines are estimated at $900 million annually” by comparison to the largest pharmaceutical company, Johnson and Johnson, whose annual revenues $71 billion, (Cuba does not rank in the top 100) Cuba’s role in providing medicine, even to the poorest countries remains miniscule.

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