Considered a milestone for a developing country and sieged by a strict blockade for more than 60 years, ten products —Cuban science's accomplishments— hold so far the Gold Medal from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
This is an award established in 1979 by this UN entity aimed at encouraging inventiveness across the world, especially in non-industrialized nations.
According to the information available at the Cuban Intellectual Property Office website (www.ocpi.cu), the first Cuban product awarded with WIPO Gold Medal was the Meningitis B vaccine in 1989, created by a staff of researchers at today’s Finlay Vaccine Institute, led by Doctor Concepción Campa Huergo.
Afterwards, same awards were bestowed to Policosanol (known as PPG) in 1996, drug obtained as a result of the sugarcane wax by specialists at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNIC), and in 2000, to the antibiotic for veterinary use Biocide, from the Center for Bioactive Chemicals at the Central University “Marta Abreu” in Las Villas.
The humanized monoclonal antibody Cimaher, from the Center for Molecular Immunology, was also bestowed in 2002 with the award. And the same was true for Stabilak — obtained by the National Center for Agricultural Sanity (CENSA)—, which extends the shelf life of the unrefrigerated raw milk.
Other products awarded are: the vaccine against the Haemophilus influenza type B, a product elaborated by the then Center for the study of Synthetic Antigens at the University of Havana in collaboration with the University of Ottawa, Canada, in 2006, as well as CNIC’s Diramic, Rapid Microbiological Diagnostic Equipment, and Surfacen, lung surfactant, created by CENSA, used in the treatment of neonatal acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, both in 2007.
Rounding out the list are Heberprot P, signature achievement of CIGB (Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology), awarded in 2011, and the discovery of anti-CD6 monoclonal antibodies (Itolizumab, use in psoriasis treatment and diagnosis) at the Center for Molecular Immunology, awarded in 2015.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff