The Cuban biotechnology industry has around 1,200 international patents and sells pharmaceutical products and vaccines in more than 50 countries. Cuba boasts having more than 300 biotechnology centers. The western Havana area, known as the “Biocluster”, alone employs 12,000 workers and more than 7,000 scientists and engineers. Countrywide, it is estimated that Cuba has about 1.8 scientists per 1,000 inhabitants, a level comparable to that of the EU.
The most important institution in Cuba's biotechnology industry is the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology or CIGB. It was established in Havana, in 1986 with a total investment until today of +150 million dollars. It has a total area of 60,000 square meters. The Center has state-of-the-art equipment, second only to the United States, in the Americas. The center has outstanding scientists and engineers dedicated to genetic research, virology, cloning, and vaccines development.
The National Bio-preparations center, Biocen, located in Bejucal, south of Habana province, is engaged in industrial scale production of human vaccines. It was built in 1992 at a cost of $15 million dollars. Innovative techniques have been developed at Biocen for obtaining culture media, substituting the traditional expensive nutritive bases, like meat, casein. They have developed 14 alternative protein sources.
The Finlay Institute or The Carlos J. Finlay Medical Research Institute is located in La Lisa, Havana. It was modernized in 1994 at a cost of $10 million dollars. The Institute occupies an area of 23,000 square meters, divided into three areas: fermentation, purification, and "clean rooms". Over 950 persons work at the Institute. Of these, 70% are engineers and scientists. The Finlay Institute has done extensive work in the research and development of new vaccines, among them, vaccines against Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Cholera, and Meningitis.
The Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Khoury - The Institute was founded in 1937 by Dr. Flori, a very well known Cuban scientist. The center's research area is in microbiology. The Institute has the necessary state-of the-art equipment for research and development related to tropical bacteria and viruses. Modernized and relocated in 1992 at a cost of $12 million dollars. The Institute has also conducted extensive research on yellow fever, malaria, dracunculiasis, filariasis, leishmaniasis, dengue, dengue hemorrhagic fever.
CIM - The Center for Molecular Immunology is a 15,000 square meter, two floor facility. Over 250 employees work at the Center, of which, 200 are scientists and engineers. It was built in 1994 at a cost of $10 million dollars. The ground floor includes development, pharmacology, and toxicology. The auxiliary technical services, and, secret research and development are on the second floor. CIM main research activities are on antibodies-hybridoma, molecular biology, celular immunology. CIM has laboratories equipped for cell culture, immunochemistry, and radiochemistry. Their work on the immune system is related to the development of stronger strains of virus and bacteria.
While CUV Ventures does not invest or participate in the Cuban Biotech industry, management and advisors share over 80 years combined experience dealing with Cuba. Therefore, ventures in which a foreign entity wishes to enter or export from the Cuban Biotech industry sector could be studied.