HAVANA TIMES — Russia and Cuba signed an agreement Monday in Moscow that brings two major state-owned pharmaceutical companies together in the fight against cancer.
A cooperation agreement on “the joint development and implementation of anticancer drugs” was signed by the director general of Mikrogen, Pyotr S. Kanygin, and the chief executive officer of Labiofam, Dr. José A. Fraga Castro, according to a press release from the Russian pharmaceutical company.
Mikrogen (full name: Mikrogen Federal Scientific-Industrial Company for Immunobiological Medicines of the Russian Ministry of Health) was established in 2003 through the merger of state enterprises that produced immunobiological preparations.
Mikrogen is the largest producer in Russia of immunobiological products — at least 400 of them — including vaccines, blood products, therapeutic and diagnostic serums, specific immunoglobulins, growth media, allergens and probiotics. It holds patents on more than 40 medicines. Its annual sales are in the range of 500 million dollars.
Some of the diseases treated with Mikrogen products are influenza, mumps and measles, tetanus, pertussis, tuberculosis, encephalitis, rubella, hepatitis-B, diphtheria, meningococcus and rabies.
The Cuban pharmaceutical company Labiofam is a developer of medical drugs and food additives. Its most significant developments are the drugs, Vidatox, Ferrical, Vimang and Acitón, derived from natural sources and used in Cuba as part of a comprehensive treatment of cancer.
Of particular interest to cancer researchers is Vidatox, a drug produced from protein peptides extracted from the venom of the blue scorpion (Rophalorus junceus), which is native to eastern Cuba. Vidatox has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effect in more than 15 different types of cancer.
The result of 15 years of research, by 2010 Vidatox had been tested on more than 10,000 cancer patients with positive results both in improving quality of life and stopping tumor growth.
According to the company, Vidatox has no counter indications and is compatible with other oncological treatments.
The combination of Cuban research and native products and Russian technology and marketing could be a boost not only for the Cuban economy but also for medicine worldwide.