Cuban and Chinese scientists held a seminar in Beijing on biotechnology and biotech products used in cancer therapy.
The forum was organized by Biotech Pharmaceutical, a Cuba-China joint venture dedicated to the production of monoclonal antibodies, and by the Cuban embassy in China, reported Prensa Latina news agency.
While delivering the opening address, Rigoberto Enoa, the economic counselor of the Cuban embassy, highlighted a memorandum of understanding on biotechnological cooperation which was signed during the visit to Cuba of Chinese President Hu Jintao in November 2004. Enoa referenced the creation of two jointly-run enterprises in China which will be involved in development of Cuban biotechnological products.
The director of the Cuba’s Immunology Molecular Center, Agustin Lage, gave a detailed presentation on progress made by the Cuban Scientific Complex located in east Havana; that facility currently employs 12,000 workers, of whom 7,000 are biotechnology scientists.
Lage said the number of projects undertaken by experts in the complex have increased over the last 20 years from two or three to 150 projects, half of which deal with the creation of vaccines that have had major social impact.
In its first stage of production, Biotech Pharmaceutical produced the humanized monoclonal antibody known as h-R3, which was created at the Cuban Immunology Center in Havana for the treatment of brain and neck cancer. The enterprise has now expanded its efforts into the development of other antibodies and vaccines.
Some 50 experts and representatives of Cuban and Chinese scientific institutions participated in the in the seminar. The Cuban delegation was led by Lage and Alberto Rodriguez Arufe, Cuba’s ambassador to China.