Potentials of the Cuban biopharmaceutical industry

Alfredo Nieves Portuondo

Unique medicines of its kind in the world such as Heberprot-P, the CIMAvax-EGF vaccine, as well as the creation of therapies for the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system, cancer, hepatitis B or meningoencephalitis have turned Cuba into a world power in biotechnology.

In this opportunity, we present the Cuban company BioCubaFarma responsible for developing joint projects in the field of biotechnology and the production of medicines against cancer and other diseases.

The Grupo de las Industrias Biotecnológica y Farmacéutica, BioCubaFarma, produces highly technological medicines, equipment and services on the basis of the country’s scientific-technical development, to improve the health of the Cuban people and to generate exportable goods and services, as well as the production of foods with state-of-the-art technology.

Over 21,700 people are employed in the organization; of these over 6,300 are university graduates, over 200 are Doctors of Sciences, over 1,000 are Masters in Sciences, over 1,000 hold technologist qualifications and over 600 are in the research category.

These workers are the organization’s most precious resource because they are the creators of knowledge. They contribute added value to the results and are the element making the difference in providing a competitive edge in the industry.


Among the main products there are prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases, biodrugs to treat cancer (includingmonoclonal antibodies and therapeutic vaccines), products to prevent and treat cardiovascular conditions and for the treatment of diabetic foot ulceration.

We also manufacture generic products and last-generation drug compounds as well as systems for early diagnosis and prevention of malignant tumors, malformations, inherited metabolic diseases and others.

We also offer products based on natural and traditional medicine, agricultural research and technologically advanced medical equipment in nonotechnology, the neurosciences and neurotechnology.

In Cuba, BioCubaFarma has registered over 500 drugs and 30 biological products; abroad, our companies hold over 800 health product registrations in over 50 countries.

BioCubaFarma provides the following Overall Patient Care Programs designed to have a significant impact on health:

X Disease Prevention with Prophylactic Vaccines

X Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment

X Overall Care for Diabetic Patients

X Diagnosis and Rehabilitation for Cardiovascular Diseases

X Overall Care for Persons with Hearing Loss

X Early Detection of Juvenile Neurodevelopmental Disorders

X Extended Pre and Neonatal Surveys

X Epidemiological Surveillance in Pregnancy,

Patients with Hepatopathies, At-Risk Populations and Groups for HIV, Hepatitis-B, Hepatitis-C, Dengue Fever and Chagas Disease.

Over 2000 patents have been granted abroad, among them internationally recognized medicines such as Heberprot-P which is used to treat ulceration of the diabetic foot, and the monoclonal antibody Nimotuzumab which is used to treat tumors of the head and neck, esophagus and brain.

BioCubaFarma exports to over 48 countries and its program for clinical development abroad includes 23 Testing Clinics in 35 countries.

As it expands abroad, this sector uses different types of business arrangements. Among the more important ones are project negotiations, joint development of R&D projects, distribution and representation agreements, technology transfer agreements and joint enterprises abroad and also others that are 100% Cuban-capital-funded abroad. We also promote direct foreign investment in Cuba, something that will be a special component in the Mariel Special Development Zone.


To promote projects in Cuba with strategic partners for the manufacture of finished products and active drug ingredients for generic medicines. In the case of biotecnological products, we will be evaluating specific businesses that would complement domestic projects, thereby preserving intellectual property and looking out for the proper use of what may be jointly generated, as well as the creation or extension of production capacities.




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