Cuba registers new skin cancer medicine

Source:  Granma
September 1 2016

by Cubadebate |

Cuba has registered a new skin cancer medicine called “Heberferon” developed by the island’s Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB)

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 Photo: Cubadebate

After 20 years of research and clinical trials, Cuba’s Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB) has developed a new medicine called “Heberferon.”

Biologist Iraldo Bello, who participated in the process, described the drug which combines interferon “Alfa” and interferón “Gamma” through the use of recombinant technology at the CIGB – as “unique” in the world. 

The injectable medication cures or reduces the size of malignant skin tumors and can prevent scaring from surgery in areas difficult to operate on such as the face, noted the specialist.

High rate of skin cancer

Bello also explained that Cuba has a high rate of skin cancer, which is usually caused by excessive exposure to the sun.

CIGB production plants have already manufactured over 10,000 vials of the new medicine, which continues to be developed with the aim of treating other types of cancer. Meanwhile the next step will be to include Heberferon on the island’s list of basic medicines, he stated.

The CIGB also produces the complementary lung cancer medication “Cimavax EGF”, which is applied alongside conventional treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, and despite not providing a cure, does help to manage the disease and improve the patient’s quality of life, above all, of those whose condition is in the advanced stage. 

Another outstanding product developed by Cuba’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry is “Heberprot-P,” a medicine to treat diabetic foot ulcers and avoid amputations, as well as drugs against hepatitis B and meningitis.

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