Molecular Medicine & Pathology special seminar: "Cuban biotechnology industry, an example of South-North and South-South cooperation" and "Nimotuzumab, an anti-EGFR humanized monoclonal antibody for the treatment of tumor of epithelial origin" Event as iCalendar

06 August 2013

1 - 2pm

Venue: Seminar Room 501-505, Building 501, 85 Park Road, Grafton

Cuban Biotechnology Industry, An Example of South-North and South-South Cooperation

Since its beginning in 1981, the Cuban Biotech Industry now owns about 900 patents and markets biopharmaceutical products and vaccines in 40 countries, generating yearly revenue of more than USD 500 million. Today the Cuban National Health System uses more than 40 products and technologies created by the industry. It currently produces more than 30 different vaccines, 33 anti-cancer drugs, around 18 products to treat cardiovascular diseases and 7 drugs to treat other diseases.

The industry’s initial products were targeted to fight diseases of children and mothers and the results have been dramatically good. Cuba has one of the lowest rates of infant and maternal mortality. Diseases like polio, neonatal tetanus, diphtheria, measles, rabies, mumps, whooping cough, and congenital rubella, have been eradicated and other diseases such as hepatitis B and bacterial meningitis the incidence rate are one of the lowest in the world. Cuban research also prioritizes developing affordable vaccines for diseases affecting poor populations, such as typhoid fever and cholera: a fundamentally needs-driven, rather than market-driven approach.

Another hallmark of Cuba’s biotechnology industry is its joint venture projects with other countries. In addition to collaborative ventures South-North with Singapore, Germany, Japan, and Great Britain, the Cuban Biotech Industry has licensed its technology and successfully made technology transfer South-South to a number of developing countries around the world, including Algeria, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia, Venezuela and Viet Nam. In addition, China has become a major participant in Cuban biotech projects; three joint ventures have been formed in China using Cuban technology and one of them was a joint venture to create a manufacturing facility for monoclonal antibodies that by that time was the biggest facility in China.

Presented by: Dr Normando E. Iznaga-Escobar

(Chief Scientific Officer (CSO),Global Nimotuzumab Project Leader, InnoMab Pte Ltd, Singapore

Nimotuzumab, An Anti-EGFR  Humanized Monoclonal Antibody for the Treatment of Tumor of Epithelial Origin.

Nimotuzumab is an anti-EGFR humanized monoclonal antibody, genetically engineered mAb obtained by CDR grafting of the murine monoclonal antibody to a human framework assisted by computer modeling, is an IgG1 isotype, has an affinity constant of 2.5 x 10 -9 M and similar capacity to inhibit the binding of EGF to its receptor as compared with the original antibody. In vitro inhibits tumor cell proliferation, induces cell cycle arrest, inhibits angiogenisis and induces apoptosis on different human tumor cell lines and in vivo induces complete regression of well-established human cancer xenograft in nude mice on different cell lines as monotherapy or in combination with radiotherapy or chemotherapy, inhibits tumor cell proliferation and angiogenesis and increases the number of apoptotic tumor cells alone or in combination with radiotherapy.

Since August 1998, it has been extensively tested in more than 29 completed clinical trials, in 8 different localizations; cervical, colorectal, esophageal, children and adult glioma, head and neck, nasopharyngeal, NSCLC and pancreas. in combination with external radiation or radiochemotherapy it is effective, very safe and tolerable and increases the overall survival and the survival rate of the patients with advanced unresectable SCCHN tumors and advanced unresectable SCCHN tumors that over-express EGF-R (+++).  Nimotuzumab in combination with external radiation is effective on the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) tumors, adult patients with high grade glioma. In combination with external radiation or radiochemotherapy it is effective on the treatment of NSCLC tumors, and when combined with carboplatin, vinorelbine and radiotherapy on stage III NSCLC, it is safe and tolerable and increases the PFS, overall survival and survival rate of these patients.

Presented by: Dr Tania Crombet-Ramos

(Clinical Director, Center of Molecular Immunology, Havana, Cuba)


For more information or anyone wanting to meet with Dr Crombet-Ramos and Dr Iznaga-Escobar should email Robyn McDonald email: r.mcdonald@auckland.ac.nz