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Scientific collaboration advances in Cuban-American joint venture

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Havana, Dec 20 (Prensa Latina) The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, valued the existence of the Cuban-American joint company Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance SA (IIA) as “very significant”, an example of the potential in scientific collaboration The Foreign Ministry of the Caribbean island reported today.

“The possibilities of scientific, technological, academic and cultural exchange between the Cuban and North American people have enormous potential, and this company is an expression of this,” the president stressed when receiving directors from the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Hospital.

Five years ago, this prestigious American scientific institution and the Center for Molecular Immunology of Cuba jointly created the joint venture IIA.

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Díaz-Canel pointed out that this Cuban-American biotechnology company—the first and only one so far—“for us has a very high significance, and it has a lot to do with what we aspire from the relations between our peoples, and that we can always share everything “It can unite us, everything that can build bridges.”

Dr. Thomas Schwaab, director of Strategic Development at Roswell Park, leading the delegation of American scientists that is on the island on the occasion of the IIA anniversary, considered it “an honor and a pleasure” to meet with the Cuban Head of State.

He mentioned that in a Board of Directors meeting “we were analyzing the progress made in the last five years,” and we were surprised by how much we had collaborated with each other from a scientific point of view, he said.

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Among the achievements, he highlighted the publications that have been generated, the patents submitted for registration and the “value that we have reaped in this joint venture,” which has doubled, he said.

The renowned researcher also highlighted “the way in which we have reached the lives of patients, not only North American patients who have benefited from Cuban biotechnology, but also Cuban patients.”

According to a note from the BioCubaFarma Business Group on September 26, 2018, that day the creation of the joint company IIA was announced, which would have its headquarters in the Mariel Special Development Zone.

This, he added, is a historic step in the scientific collaboration between both countries that will allow the advancement of research and development of new anti-cancer drugs, which can prolong and improve the survival of thousands of patients in the United States.

The new biotechnology company, the text added, will have among its products the drug CIMAVax-EGF, a well-known therapy against lung cancer, and three other additional immunotherapy treatments for different tumors, developed in Cuba.

Cuban biotechnologist Ernesto Chico, general director of IIA, told the press that in these five years they have managed to bring the lung cancer vaccine to the United States, and “we are also treating patients with colon, head and neck cancer, and all this with good results,” he considered.

He specified that “we have also benefited Cuban patients because we have taken samples and analyzed them in the United States, to improve their treatment.”

In addition, the Americans “have donated medical equipment to our hospitals, they have trained Cuban doctors in advanced techniques. The essence is that this is a medical collaboration for the benefit of patients in both countries,” said Chico.

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