Ghana, Cuba partner to develop Covid-19 vaccine

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Governments of Cuba and Ghana have initiated talks for the development of a potential Cuban Covid-19 vaccine in the country through the transfer of technology.

Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, Pedro Luis Despaigne Gonzalez, said the Covid-19 vaccine, “Soberana 02”, is Cuba’s most advanced candidate against the Covid-19 virus.

He said this vaccine had passed Phase I trials in Cuba. He also indicated that Phase II trials have also been carried out on 910 patients and Phase III trials would commence in February 2021.

Mr Gonzalez said countries like India, Vietnam, Iran, Venezuela and Pakistan have also expressed interest in acquiring the Soberana 02 vaccine.

He added that Cuba intends to undertake the venture through an agreement with the Ghanaian Pharmaceutical Industry for the supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredients for the formulation, production and packaging of the vaccine in Ghana.

The Cuban Ambassador disclosed this during a curtesy call on the Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Delese Darko to discuss the progress on development of Cuba’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The meeting, at the request of the Ambassador was to brief Ghana’s FDA on status of clinical trials being conducted in Cuba on four Covid-19 candidate vaccines, each at different phases of clinical development.

Mrs. Darko on her part expressed gratitude to the Cuban government for its continued solidarity and expressed her utmost appreciation for the intended technological transfer support from Cuba.

She pledged the continued support of the FDA in the sharing of its experience as a Maturity Level 3 regulatory agency of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Mrs. Darko said the meeting has presented an opportunity to render support, build capacity, further develop and challenge the local pharmaceutical industry (allopathic and herbal) adding that through this, the pharmaceutical industry would make advances in promoting health, thus improving the health standards of Ghanaians.

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