Cuban biotech industry expected to double in five years

Havana, April 25 (IANS) Cuba’s biotechnology industry is expected to double over the next five years, bringing in more than $5 billion in export revenues, an official said.

There is increasing international recognition of Cuba’s biotech industry and the revenue for the 2013-17 period is projected to double the $2.5 billion that earned in the last five years, said Jose Luis Fernandez Yero, vice president of the country’s biotech firm BioCubaFarma, in a recent TV interview.

Products manufactured by the biotech industry are currently sold in more than 50 countries and authorities are working to expand the market, reported Xinhua.

BioCubaFarma, said Fernandez, was founded in April 2011 after the Sixth Congress of Cuba’s Communist Party called for strengthening domestic pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to boost the economy as the sectors had the greatest export potential.

BioCubaFarma is to develop new products for the domestic market and help push Cuba towards a more high-tech economy, Fernandez said.

The group manufactures generic drugs, therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines, biomedicine, diagnostic systems and high-tech medical equipment. It also does research on neuroscience and neurotechnology.

According to Fernandez, of the 881 generic drugs used in Cuba, 583 are manufactured in the country.

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