HAVANA TIMES – The State-controlled company BioCubaFarma announced Wednesday that it was creating the first Cuban-US biotech company, in a joint venture with US Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, which will research and develop new medicines and therapies to treat cancer.
The new biotech company will be called “Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance LLC and it will include the CIMAVax-EFG drug, the well-known lung cancer treatment, as one of the products it offers, as well as three additional immunotherapy treatments for different tumors, all of which were developed in Cuba.
The CIMAVax-EGF vaccine slows down cancerous cell growth and, as a result, prevents the disease from spreading to other parts of the body, thus prolonging the cancer patient’s life expectancy. Scientists clarify that this is not a preventive but a therapeutic vaccination instead.
The new Cuban-US company will be based in the Mariel Special Economic Development Zone, a customs-free zone for foreign companies located 45 km to the west of Havana, according to information published on the government’s Cubadebate website.
BioCubaFarma has not yet provided any figures about the amount of financial investment this new company will have, it just explained in one sentence that “the company’s main objective is to develop scientific and clinical research thereby allowing them to prove the safety and effectiveness of these innovative treatments in the United States.”
The announcement comes at a time when US-Cuban relations have suffered a setback, as Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel recently recognized during an interview with TeleSur.
BioCubaFarma is the state company that groups the most important companies in Cuba’s biotechnology sector together and exports to over 50 countries.