Cuba is well known for its high quality cigars and sugar production, but is less well-known for its production of high quality pharmaceuticals. According to MSNBC, “With more than 7,000 scientists dedicated to researching new drugs, Cuba has one of the most sophisticated biotech industries in the developing world. Last year the country earned $350 million from exporting 180 different medicines.” After Ronald Regean reinstated the Cuban trade embargo in 1982, Cuba had to rely on its own biotech industry to produce drugs, since it could not import them directly from the U.S. Thus spawned the Cuban biotech industry.
The latest news out of Havana claims that Cuba researchers have a new discovery. According to news reports from Havana, a Cuban Research Institute has just patented a promising lung cancer drug. The drug is called CimaVax EGF and in clinical trials it has been shown to increase life expectancy in lung cancer patients by 4-5 months. Researchers claim that those who use CimaVax EGF “…breathe easier, experience less fatigue, less pain and increased appetite. It is administered in conjunction with conventional treatments of chemo and radiotherapy.”
When you think of Cuba, images of Fidel Castro and Cohiba may come to mind. But soon, you may have to think of Cuba as the home of live-saving lung cancer drugs.