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.
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
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
- 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®)