Cuban biotechnology: Sword and shield against Covid-19

Havana, (Prensa Latina) Five vaccine candidates, immunomodulators, antiviral products, anti-inflammatories, serological or molecular diagnostics and medical teams are currently making up the 27 projects developed by Cuba to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Having sovereignty in treating the disease has been our country´s premise since the beginning of the pandemic,’ Eduardo Martínez, president of the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Group, said at a press conference.

Martínez highlighted the effectiveness of different drugs including Biomodulin T, used in more than 12,000 people (older than 60 years of age), of which 6,000 at nursing homes. Of the later, only 2.3% (138) of the latter were infested with SARS-CoV-2, and one passed away.

Plus, Martínez pointed out the interferons effectiveness and their impact on early negativization of the virus; as well as on the reduced number of patients with severe symptoms.

He also talked about Nasalferon, an intranasal administration of recombinant human Interferon Alpha-2b, and highlighted that out of 100,921 people who have received this medicine, only 634 (0.6%) came back positive in real-time PCR tests. Likewise, he underlined the effectiveness of Jusvinza, a peptide conceived at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology of Cuba (CIGB), which achieves relief in ventilatory parameters and inflammation markers, which leads to the recovery of severe or critical Covid-19 patients.

Another drug showing positive results in anti-inflammatory therapy treatments in Covid-19 patients was Itolizumab, which showed a high percentage of recovery of critical, serious and high-risk patients.

Martínez commented on different Cuban diagnoses of the virus and on the results of the clinical trial phases of the five vaccine candidates: Soberana 01, Soberana 02, Soberana Plus, Mambisa and Abdala.

Currently, over 1,800,000 doses of these vaccine candidates have been applied and Cuba´s goal is to vaccinate 70% its people in August.

pgh/Pll/mem / cdg

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