Monday, July 31, 2006

Cuba - A Biotech Superpower?!

I was just listening to the audio book version of "The World is Flat" by Thomas L. Friedman and was taken aback by Friedman's comment on the Cuban biotech industry.

I have always been under the belief that Cuba is a poor, socialist state that had the balls to confront the United States. And that after the decades of UN sanctions, its economy would barely be able to stand on its feet. The last thing I would have expected is for this country to be a growing biotech power!

According to Friedman, almost a billion dollars have been invested in various biotech research units on the west coast of Havana. All these institutes are staffed primarily by Cuban biotech scientists mostly educated in Europe. In fact, a US company called CancerVex (I'm not too sure about the name) actually licensed three cancer vaccines from Cuba in 2004! Wow! Its rare to see a US research firm license anything from a third world country.

Pretty impressive, i must say, especially for Cuba!


Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments: