Heberprot-P, a Cuban biomedicine for treating diabetic foot ulcers – the only of its kind in the world – will undergo phase III clinical trials this year in several hospitals in China and Russia. Administered locally into chronic wounds, Heberprot-P reduces the risk of amputation in diabetic foot ulcer patients, as it accelerates healing with human recombinant epithermal growth factor (hr-EGF). The drug was developed by scientists at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, (CIGB), Havana, jointly with the Institute of Angiology and Vascular Surgery.
According to Dr. Luis Herrera, director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, the decision made by these two countries reflects the level of acceptance and effectiveness the product is enjoying in the world, as thousands of people have avoided amputation of the lower extremities thanks to this new product.
(photo: Dr. Luis Herrera)
Now in phase III of its development, Heberprot-P has a long impressive history. Since the 1990s, ongoing research and clinical trials have been performed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and, in April 2011, the Cuban scientists literally struck gold when at the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, attended by 45 nations with 1000 innovations, Heberprot-P was awarded the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Award in the category Best Young Inventor and a WIPO Gold Medal at the International Inventions Fair.
70,000 patients treated so far
After a successful phase II implementation in Europe, clinical trials for phase III will also be carried out in about one hundred hospitals in Europe. This will be the first time that Cuban scientists will test the biomedicine at this level in the first world.
Heberprot-P is being administered not only in Cuban healthcare institutions but also in similar institutions in other countries, including Algeria, Vietnam, Angola, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, said Luis Herrera, director of the Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center.
According to Dr. Herrera, over 70, 000 patients have been treated with the Cuban pharmaceutical, which has been patented in more than 40 countries, and used under 17 different sanitary permits by countries interested in its administration.
Manuel Raices, scientific secretary of the Havana 2012 Heberprot-P Congress, said Cuba is making strong efforts to make Heberprot-P available in every health centre of the island. The medicine is currently supplied to more than 200 units covering all provinces and it has been used by more than 8,000 patients.
Cuban News Agency,