Cuban vaccine against cancer:

The vaccine was created in the Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM) in Havana. Photo: Yaimí Ravelo

HAVANA.— Malaysian biotechnology firm Bioven, which is currently undertaking Phase III clinical trials of a promising Cuban vaccine against cancer, plans to list the medicine on the London stock exchange, following a fruitful collaboration with Cuba.

The relationship of the Caribbean country with Bioven, a company in which the Malaysian government is one of the major shareholders, is an example of South-South cooperation, Elnartd Blanco, commercial manager of CIMAB, the distributor for the Cuban Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM), who created the vaccine, told Prensa Latina.

Since 2008, through an agreement with the CIM, Bioven has been undertaking the clinical development of the Cuban vaccine in Europe and parts of Asia and Oceania, Blanco added.

Since then, Bioven has carried out more extensive testing on the drug, which targets non-small lung cancer cells, and Stephen Drew, chief executive of the company, has said that listing the product on the Alternative Investment Market, the sub-market of the London stock exchange, could help speed up commercialization.

The medicine is a form of immunotherapy that targets proteins called EGF (epidermal growth factor) which are overexpressed in cancer cells.

The Phase III trial, the final stage before regulatory approval, began in May with the participation of 419 patients from ten countries.
Much of the clinical development work is done in Scotland, in collaboration with the Beatson Institute in Glasgow.

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