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Another COVID-19 medication under development in Cuba

  • Written by Yenia Silva Correa - Granma
  • Published in Health
Novatec workers making every effort to increase production in times of COVID-19. Photo: ACN Novatec workers making every effort to increase production in times of COVID-19. Photo: ACN
HAVANA, Cuba, April 29, 2020 - MedSol Laboratories is working to develop the antiretroviral medication Kaletra, a drug that has shown its effectiveness worldwide in combating COVID-19.

According to Adalberto Izquierdo Castro, head of Research and Development at MedSol's production unit (UEB) Novatec, the drug is in the development stage, with three pilot batches produced and physical-chemical analyses conducted.

Izquierdo told ACN that the next step would be to compare the Cuban product with the lead product. With positive results obtained, it can be registered by the Center for State Control of Drugs, Equipment and Medical Devices. He explained that once the medication is registered and required raw material acquired, Novatec is in a position to begin production, adding, "The tests that are being carried out on the Cuban version of this drug have shown satisfactory results.”

Kaletra, a drug used in treating HIV/AIDS, is an antiretroviral combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir. Producing the medication in Cuba would eliminate the need for imports, and allow for a lower cost of production.

It is currently produced by powerful transnational pharmaceutical companies with advanced technology. Launching production here of a drug with the same specifications requires technological adaptations, but, in the long term, it could be exported.

Along with recombinant human Interferon Alpha 2b, a drug that stimulates antiviral mechanisms; Oseltamivir, a selective inhibitor of the neuraminidase of the flu virus; and Chloroquine (anti-malarial), Kaletra is among medications used in treating COVID-19 patents in Cuba.

  • Countries: Cuba