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First Cuba-Japan Business Forum on Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals in Tokyo

The Cuban Embassy in Japan hosted the First Cuba-Japan Business Forum on Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals earlier this week, attended by Cuban vice president Roberto Morales and a broad representation of Japanese companies and Cuban scientific institutions.

At the meeting, vice president Morales emphasized that despite the economic hardships imposed by the US blockade, Cuba is committed to boosting its biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry for its significant contribution to people's health and national development.

Normando Iznaga, commercial and business director of Cuba’s Biocubafarma Group, made a presentation on the advances and potentialities of the Cuban biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, and its business opportunities.

The Biocubafarma official highlighted Cuba’s efforts to train first-level scientific and professional personnel, the priority given to the national healthcare system and the closed-cycle model (R&D to commercialization) that characterizes the work of Cuban scientific institutions.

Ricardo Silva, representative of Biocubafarma in Asia, referred to the work experiences in the region: business models, joint ventures, license contracts and co-development of new products, as well as the joint implementation of projects in the early stages.

In turn, Eulogio Pimentel, general director of the Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB), referred to the production of innovating drugs with a high impact on patients’ quality of life and the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, brain and neuro-degenerative diseases that are typical of aging societies, like Cuba’s and Japan’s.

Tadashi Minemura, director of Global Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Japan Foreign Trade Agency, drew attention to the progress of biotechnology in Cuba and the prospects to set up joint ventures involving research and scientific institutions and entities from both countries.

Edited by Lena Valverde Jordi
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