Despite the global financial crisis and the blockade imposed for more than 50 years by successive U.S. administrations, Cuba is continues to develop innovative biotechnology products to improve the quality of life of its population and other nations. [See previous post Cuba’s Innovative Biotechnology Products.] Recently, Cuban biopharmaceutical Heberprot-P received the Gold Medal granted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in a ceremony held at the Jose Marti Memorial in Havana.
This product, developed by the Havana-based Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) received this recognition for its contribution in the treatment of more than 18,000 patients with diabetic foot ulcers, a chronic disease among people suffering from diabetes, in Cuba and other nations. According to Granma newspaper, Heberprot-P speeds up cicatrization of injuries; it also reduces the number of amputations of lower extremities and improves the patients’ quality of life.
The award was presented by the director of WIPO for Latina America, Carlos Marzal Casella, and it was received—on behalf of the team of 12 specialists who participated in the project—by Dr. Jorge Berlanga Acosta, who reaffirmed their commitment to eliminate this disease, which causes an amputation every 30 seconds worldwide.
The ceremony was chaired by the Cuban Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, José Miyar Barrueco; the scientific advisor of the Council of State, Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart; and the president of the National Association of Innovators and Rationalizers (ANIR), Alfredo Machado López, among others.