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  • Worker at Novatec Laboratories, Havana, Cuba. April 2020.

    Worker at Novatec Laboratories, Havana, Cuba. April 2020. | Photo: Twitter/@PresidenciaCuba

Published 27 April 2020
Opinion

International pharmaceutical companies produce Kaletra at high costs. To produce it locally will allow Cuba to treat more COVID-19 patients in the island territory.

The Cuban pharmaceutic Company MedSol Laboratories develops antiretroviral Kaletra; this drug has been effectively used to treat  COVID-19 infected patients.

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MedSol research and development group, Novatec, is because of Kaletra's testing and production. According to Adalberto Izquierdo Castro, Novatec’s manager, the drug is in the development stage. So far, Cuban laboratories produced three pilot batches and carried out the physical-chemical analysis. "Tests on the Cuban version of this drug have shown satisfactory results" said Izquierdo to local news media.

As he explained, the last steps would be the collection of results, compare it with the leading product, and register it in the Island's Center for State Control of Drugs, Equipment, and Medical Devices. After the drug patenting, Cuba could start subsequent production with the required prime materials.

"Cuba, with a pharmaceutical industry depressed by a blockade, chooses to achieve sovereignty so as not to depend on US-controlled markets at a time when drug control is already being used as a political weapon."

Kaletra is currently applied to HIV/Aids patients. The drug is a Lopinavir and Ritonavir combination. Both antiretroviral medicines are protease inhibitors, a common enzyme to HIV, Covid-19, and other viruses.

 International pharmaceutical companies produce Kaletra at high costs. To produce it locally will allow Cuba to treat more COVID-19 patients in the island territory. In the long term, Cuba could export the product.Along with recombinant human Interferon Alpha 2b, a drug that generates an antiviral mechanism of action; Oseltamivir, a selective inhibitor of flu virus neuraminidases, and Chloroquine (antimalarial), Kaletra is part of the treatments used in the country to confront COVID-19.
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