Cuba to start clinical trials of pneumonia vaccine
Havana, May 4 (IANS) Cuba will begin this year clinical trials of a new pneumonia vaccine developed by the island nation's biotech industry, the official daily Granma said.
The vaccine was developed by scientists at Havana's Finlay Institute and the Center for Biomolecular Chemistry, Finlay Director Concepcion Campa was quoted as saying by Granma.
Campa is participating in the 16th International Seminar of the Caribbean Medical Association, which began Wednesday in Havana and gathered 200 specialists from various countries.
Campa gave a lecture on the impact on national public health of the more than 10 vaccines manufactured on the island, reported Xinhua.
She headed the scientific team that created the "first and only effective vaccine in the world against meningococcal group B" (vaccine VA-MENGOC-BC), according to the Cuban medical authorities.
Among the vaccines Cuba produces are one against hepatitis "B", the first therapeutic vaccine to prevent lung cancer, and a pentavalent against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis "B" and the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae type B.
Cuba's biotech industry represents one of the country's main revenue sources, marketing about 38 medications in 40 countries.
According to official data, in 2008, the industry registered profits exceeding $350 million, representing some 10 percent of the country's total annual exports.
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