The Cuban Government has offered to transfer technology on a COVID-19 vaccine — currently undergoing trial in that country — to Ghana through an agreement with the Ghanaian pharmaceutical industry.
Under the agreement, the Cuban Government will supply active pharmaceutical ingredients for the formulation, production and packaging of the vaccine in Ghana.
Known as the “Soberana 02”, the vaccine is Cuba’s most advanced candidate against the COVID-19 virus.
Countries such as India, Vietnam, Iran, Venezuela and Pakistan have also expressed interest in acquiring the Soberana 02 vaccine.
The Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Pedro Luis Despaigne Gonzalez, who disclosed that, said the vaccine had passed the Phase I trial in Cuba, indicating that the Phase II trial had also been carried out on 910 patients, while Phase III trial was expected to commence before the end of February 2021.
Meeting with FDA
Mr Gonzalez was briefing the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mrs Delese Darko, on progress made so far on the development of Cuba’s Covid-19 vaccine.
The meeting, at the request of the ambassador, was to brief Ghana’s FDA on the status of clinical trials being conducted in Cuba on four Covid-19 candidate vaccines, each at different phases of clinical development.
It was a follow-up on an earlier one held on November 24, 2020, during which the FDA and the Centre for State Control of Drugs and Medical Devices (CECMED) of the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba (MINSAP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in the area of health promotion.
In attendance were the Deputy CEO for Health Products and Technologies Division of the FDA, Mr Seth Seneake; the Deputy CEO for Corporate Services of the FDA, Mrs Yvonne Nkrumah, and the pharmaceutical liaison for the Republic of Cuba in Ghana, Mrs Mercy Mintah Gyampoh.
Mrs Darko expressed gratitude to the people and the Government of Cuba for their continued solidarity with Ghana, and pledged the continued support of the FDA in the sharing of its experience as a Maturity Level Three regulatory agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Mrs Darko further expressed the appreciation of the institution for the intended technological transfer support from Cuba to Ghana.
She said the meeting presented an opportunity to render support, build capacity, further develop and challenge the local pharmaceutical industry — both allopathic and herbal.
Mrs Darko mentioned that through that, the local pharmaceutical industry would make progress in the promotion of healthy practices to improve the health standards of the Ghanaian populace.