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The Director of the Center of Molecular Immunology in Cuba, Dr, Agustín Lage, noted the potential for scientific exchange between Cuba and the United States. Photo: Ismael Batista

The Director of the Center of Molecular Immunology in Cuba, Dr, Agustín Lage, noted the potential for scientific exchange between Cuba and the United States, while announcing further steps to strengthen links in this sector.

Dr. Lage announced during a press conference this Sunday morning in Havana, that Cuban biotechnology products could begin to be used by U.S. patients, as more than 30 Cuban patents have been approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

This is a pre-commercial step and therefore is not subject to the sanctions of the blockade, Dr. Lage told accredited press providing coverage of President Barack Obama’s visit to the island.

He explained that this is an exception, since due to the blockade, Cuba can not export its biotech products to the U.S. and patients in the U.S. can not use them, as they have Cuban patents.

During the press conference, Dr. Lage stated that the two countries should move forward from academic collaboration to business collaboration in this sector.

He added that the approval of clinical trials of Cuban products in U.S. patients is another possibility going forward.

The medical needs which today are not covered by the U.S. health system offer a favorable context for collaboration, Lage said.

He explained the importance of the biotechnology industry in Cuba. Business organizations in the biotechnology sector are becoming the engine of the Cuban economy, Lage said.

Today the island produces the so-called basic set of medicines for the Cuban public health system, 857 products, with universal coverage, he added.
He also noted that biotechnology products are one of the main export items of the country and highlighted the possibilities for collaboration in this key sector between Cuba and the United States.

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