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The history of the development of pharmaceuticals and advanced medical devices in Cuba has been reported on extensively and internationally.


The Cuban achievements in the life-sciences have been celebrated as the zenith of the Revolution and exemplary of its advanced educational system. A pivotal moment in the commitment to the State's investment in the national centers of excellence in the life sciences to become known as the Polo Científico is credited to the enthusiasm of the Cuban President Fidel Castro for the interferons in 1980 which, given the absence of patents in that jurisdiction, were appropriately and rapidly copied and manufactured. Indeed commitment to science-based industry had previously been famously established in 1960 with the now widely-quoted remarks by the President that “The future of our nation is necessarily the future of men of science.”

Mentioned in this report
Featured News & Publications

Abivax SAS


Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, Cuba 

Bernstein, Allan

Biocon Limited

Biotech Pharmaceuticals Limited 



Castro, Fidel 

Centro de Biopreparados (BIOCEN)

Centro Control Calidad Medicamentos (CECMED)

Centro de Bioactívos Químicos (CBQ)

Centro de Ingenieria Genética​ (CIGB)

Centro de Inmunoensayo (CIE)

Centro de Inmunología Molecular​ (CIM)

Centro de Neurociencias (CNEURO)

Centro Nacional Investigaciones Científicas (CNIC)

Centro Nacional de Salud Animal (CENSA)

Centro Nacional Ensayos Clinicos​ (CENCEC)

Chan, Margaret, WHO Director General

Children's Hospital Denver, Colorado, CO

Christie Hospital Cancer Center, UK

Consejo de Estado, Cuba

Consejo de Ministros, Cuba

Daiichi Sankyo

Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Oregon

Huff Post, March 15, 2016

U.S.-Cuban Scientific Relations


Cuba has also made important strides in biotechnology, including the production of several important vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, and its research interests continue to expand in diverse fields, ranging from drug addiction treatment to the preservation of biodiversity. Cuban scientists are engaged in research cooperation with many countries, 

Finlay, Carlos

Gilead Sciences

Glaxo - Smithkline 

Innogene Kalbiotech

Instituto Finlay de Sueros y Vacunas

Kuhnil Pharmaceutical

Lage Dávila, Agustín

Larrick, James

Limonta, Manuel

Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD. 

Memorial Sloan-Kettering, NY

MD Anderson, Houston, TXOncoScience AG

NYU Medical Center, Hassenfeld Clinic, NY

Pérez, Rolando

Polo Científico

Roswell Park Cancer Centre

Trudeau, Pierre Elliot, Rt. Hon  

Universidad Central de Las Villas (UCLV)

Universidad de La Habana​ (UH)

University of Florida Gainesville, FL

US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

US National Cancer Institute

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN

Varmus, Harold

Washington Post

World Health Organization (WHO)

YM BioSciences Inc.​

Cuba Standard Vol. 25. No 9

"Cuba’s scientific skill, talent, passion and vigor cannot be sustained without the constant nutrient of capital"

David Allan is probably the foreigner with most first-hand experience in Cuban biotech.
A Canadian and former investment banker specializing in biotech, whose relationship with Cuba goes back nearly 25 years. In 1994, impressed by Cuba's potential, Allan created YM BioSciences and raised some $ 300 million in the course of 15 years for the development of two Cuban cancer vaccines. Even though YM pulled back from Cuban products in 2011, no other foreign partner has been able so far to replicate its achievements...

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