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Cuba, US to establish historic biotech joint venture


IANS Havana
Cuba and the US will establish a historic biotech joint venture based in Havana to develop new cancer treatments, official sources said.
The Cuban-American biotechnology company: Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance S.A., will be based in the Mariel Special Development Zone, some 50 km west of the Cuban capital, Xinhua news agency quoted the sources as saying on Wednesday.
The zone is the island's major international trade and companies headquartered there operate under separate tax and trade laws to the rest of the country.
Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance S.A., which will develop treatments to fight different types of cancer, is the result of cooperation between the commercial subsidiaries of two research centres: the Cuban Molecular Immunology Centre in Havana and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Buffalo, New York.
"This historic scientific collaboration between the two countries will allow advancements in the research and development of new anti-cancer treatments, which can improve the survival rates in US patients," an official statement said.
The new company plans to manufacture several Cuban developed anti-cancer products, including the CIMAVax-EGF, a known therapy against lung cancer.
Treatments will be be marketed in the US once the company receives the required Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits.
Cuba-US relations are currently tense following the decision of American President Donald Trump to reverse much of the progress made under his predecessor Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, several Latin American leaders publicly rejected the ongoing American embargo on Cuba.

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First Published: Sep 27 2018 | 9:18 AM IST

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