HAVANA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Cuba and the United States will establish a historic first biotech joint venture based in Cuba to develop new cancer treatments, official sources said on Wednesday.
"The first Cuban-American biotechnology company: Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance S.A., is born," said the Cuban state-owned Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Group "Biocubafarma."
The new company will be based in the Mariel Special Development Zone, some 50 kilometers west of the Cuban capital, Havana. The zone is the island's major international trade and companies headquartered there operate under separate tax and trade laws to the rest of the country.
Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance S.A., which will hope to develop treatments to fight different types of cancer, is the result of cooperation between the commercial subsidiaries of two research centers: the Cuban Molecular Immunology Center in Havana and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York.
"This historic scientific collaboration between the two countries will allow advancements in the research and development of new anticancer treatments, which can improve the survival rates in U.S. patients," said the statement.
The new company plans to manufacture several Cuban developed anticancer products, including the CIMAVax-EGF, a known therapy against lung cancer.
The partnership is aiming to prove to American authorities that Cuban biotech drugs meet the high regulatory safety standards of the United States and are effective in fighting disease.
Treatments are to be marketed in the United States once the company receives the required U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits.
Cuba-U.S. relations are currently tense following the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to reverse much of the progress made under the previous president, Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, several Latin American leaders publicly rejected the ongoing American embargo on Cuba.