Cuban lung cancer vaccine completes initial clinical trials in US
HAVANA – The Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (RPCCC) announced on Wednesday that the initial results of the first North American clinical study of the CIMAvax-EGF vaccine show that this immunotherapy developed in Cuba is safe, well tolerated and deserves further study.
RPCCC and the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Group Biocubafarma also announced on Wednesday the creation of the first joint biotechnology company between Cuba and the United States, which will be named Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance SA and will have its headquarters in the Mariel Economic Development Zone (ZEDM).
The new company will include among its products the drug CIMAVax-EGF, a therapy against lung cancer, and three additional immunotherapy treatments for different tumors, all developed in Cuba.
According to statements by principal investigator Grace Dy on the RPCCC website, the monoclonal antibody Nimotuzumab and CIMAvax have the potential to work better in combination than by themselves.
The researcher explained that, while this is a small study and they need to verify that the conclusions are true when they move on to phase II, these early signs of clinical activity encourage them to continue exploring the combined approach.
She noted that no patient experienced life-threatening side effects attributable to the combination.
Andrew Coumo, governor of the New York, has described the creation of the first biotechnology joint venture between Cuba and the United States as an historic association, according to Prensa Latina reports.
Coumo said the alliance will give RPCCC access to innovative cancer drugs that could revolutionize treatments.
Candace Johnson, president and CEO of RPCCC, said that, with the establishment of this company in the ZEDM, they enter a new key phase of collaboration with innovative Cuban scientists.