The drug Jusvinza, currently used in Cuba to treat severe and critical Covid-19 patients, received the award for technological innovation, its developers announced on Wednesday.
Designed by the Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB), this peptide improves respiration parameters and inflammation markers, which leads to the recovery of people complicated by the disease.
Until December 2020, the Cuban drug based on peptide synthesis, reached a recovery rate above 85 percent in Covid-19 patients admitted in intensive care units.
Inially, this molecule was designed to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, but due to its capacity to reduce hyperinflammation caused by SARS-CoV-2 in severe and critical patients and avoid complications in high-risk patients, its use was authorized to fight the new coronavirus.
Project leader Maria del Carmen Dominguez told the Cuban News Agency that the CIGB aims to present the final report to Cuba's Regulatory Authority for Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices during the first quarter of 2021. The objective is to request an emergency authorization for the use of Jusvinza in rheumatoid arthritis.
Other Cuban biopharmaceuticals such as Nasalferon, Biomodulin T, Interferons and Itolizumab currently contribute to fight Covid-19 in the country.
Cuba is also working on four vaccine candidates against Covid-19. They are Mambisa (CIGB-669) and Abdala (CIGB-66) from the CIGB, and Soberana 01 and Soberana 02 from the Finlay Institute of Vaccines.