Cuba Life Sciences

Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Cancer Research and Vaccines

Cuba is world renowned for its life sciences research, products and practices. The country has several research facilities, tens of thousands of scientists and doctors and has produced a number of manmade and holistic cures and treatments for a number of physical ailments.

Cuban Biotechnology

Biotechnology in Cuba had its beginnings in Cuba in the early 1980s when scientists from M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas visited Havana. Discussions were held about new frontiers in biotechnology, esp. interferon.

Cuba embraced biotechnology immediately in its quest to distance its GNP from complete dependency on commodities (sugar, nickel, tobacco, rum) and to venture into an arena, where if successful, would catapult Cuba into a select group of scientifically advanced (at least in biotechnology) nations.

Lisa Reynolds Wolfe writes a great article about the Cuban biotechnology industry and how proud the Cuban people are of the development of the Cuban biotech industry built almost independently of the Soviet Union.

Center of Molecular Immunology

The Center of Molecular Immunology is located just outside of Havana city and produces biopharmaceutical products like anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies for patients with organ transplant rejection, human recombinant erythropoietin for the treatment of anemia, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor for the treatment of neutropenia, and a humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes the epidermal growth factor receptor for cancer treatment, as well as other monoclonal antibodies for tumor imaging.

Basic research projects are focused on cancer immunotherapy, especially the development of molecular vaccines. These include antibody engineering, cellular engineering, bioinformatics and regulation of the immune response.

CIM has laboratories equipped for immunochemistry, radiochemistry, molecular biology, cell culture, including facilities for research with animal models and a Pilot Plant (146 m2 cGMP) to supply products for clinical trials.

Calle 15 esq. 216, Siboney, Playa, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
53 (7) 2714335 y 2713357
Fax : 53 (7) 2720644


CIMAB, the commercial arm of CIM markets biopharmaceutical products from CIM and other scientific institutions. This organization is also responsible for licensing, patents, strategic alliances and joint development of projects.

Calle 206 No. 1926 e/ 19 y 21, Atabey, Playa, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
53 (7) 2715057 y 2716275
Fax : 53 (7) 2733509 

Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, is an institution of a  dynamic development  which has reached a high level of research, development, production and commercialization of biological products obtained through the methods of modern biotechnology.

Some biomedical projects from the CIGB are:

  • Development of a nasal formulation based on the recombinant hepatitis B surface and core antigens (NASVAC) in chronic hepatitis B patients under antiviral therapy
  • Development of therapeutic vaccine against Hepatitis C virus
  • Development of a recombinant vaccine against Dengue virus
  • Molecules with antiviral activity against Dengue virus
  • Therapeutic Targeting of Colorectal and other Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) Positive Cancers with a Recombinant Divalent Antibody Fragment (CIGB-M3)

Heber Biotec S.A. is the commercializing company from CIGB. The company owns the exclusive rights for the commercialization of the CIGB's products and projects, and has developed fruitful business relationships with companies and institutions in more than 50 countries. They have released Heberprot-P for diabetic foot ulcers and are producing the antioxidant Vimang in Cuba.  

CIGB biotechnology products are:

  • recombinant Hepatitis B Vaccine (HEBERVIOCAC-HB®)
  • recombinant alpha 2b Interferon(HEBERON ALPHA R®)
  • recombinant Streptokinase (HEBERKINASE®)
  • Interferon gamma (HEBERON GAMMA®)
  • Epidermal Growth Factor (HEBERMIN®)
  • Erythropoietin (HEBERITRO®)
  • recombinant GSCF (HEBERVITAL®)
  • Hib preventive synthetic vaccine (Quimi-Hib®)
  • combined vaccine Trivac-HB®
  • Vaccine for the control of cattle tick (GAVAC®)

Cuba News and Commentary Updated Every Day

View Havana Journal's profile on LinkedIn

Sign up for our Cuba Watch newsletter

Havana Journal, Inc. BBB Business Review