Cuba creates biotech holding company

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Gutiérrez Calzado

The Cuban government created a state holding company that unites all biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies under one roof.

With decree 307/2012, the Council of Ministers approved the creation of BioCubaFarma, also known as Grupo de las Industrias Biotecnológica y Faramcéuticas.

BioFarmaCuba consists of 38 companies, including the commercial branches of all research institutions of the Scientific Pole in western Havana and all companies within the Grupo Empresarial Quimefa. The holding — run on “entrepreneurial principles,” according to the Granma daily — will be in charge of producing and selling medicine, equipment, high-tech health services, and exportable goods and services.

Pharmaceuticals are Cuba’s second-largest export product. Some of the better known products include a diabetic-foot drug, a pentavalent pediatric vaccine, and a lung cancer vaccine.

Carlos Manuel Gutiérrez Calzado was appointed president of the holding. Previously, the trained physician and member of the communist party’s Central Committee was director of the National Center of Scientific Research.

José Miguel Miyar Barrueco, the high-profile chief of the Scientific Pole, was assigned to “other tasks directly with” Raúl Castro, Granma said.

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