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Vietnam, Cuba to set up alliances in biotechnology
Minh Vu 16:14, 2021/09/20
Some leading biotech institutes of the two countries have signed different agreements during the ongoing visit to Cuba paid by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Cuba and Vietnam have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish alliances in the field of vaccines against Covid-19 and the treatment of various chronic non-communicable diseases, according to Prensa Latina.

Representatives of Vietnam’s Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (POLYVAC) and Cuba’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) at the signing ceremony on Sept 19. Photos: CIGB Twitter

The news was announced by the Business Group of the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries of Cuba (BioCubaFarma) and the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) on their Twitter accounts.

Both are partners in different deals signed with Vietnam’s representatives during the ongoing visit to Cuba paid by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

On Sept 19 (local time), an agreement was reached during a meeting between representatives of BioCubaFarma and Vietnam’s SOVICO Group that includes SOVICO DS Healthcare, HDBank, HD Insurance, and Vietjet Air.

In a tweet, BioCubaFarma reported that the meeting between both parties was aimed to strengthen alliances in the biotechnology sector.

In another move, the signing of another agreement between Cuba’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and Vietnam’s Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (POLYVAC) was also reported.

The partnership between CIGB and POLYVAC will serve the joint development of innovative products against cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, among others, CIGB tweeted.

Biotech is one of the areas listed in the Vietnamese leader’s visit to Cuba.

 Representatives of SOVICO and BioCubaFarma at the headquarters of CIGB on Sept 19.  

In a meeting with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz on Sept 19, President Phuc expected the two countries to boost cooperation in the health sector with a focus on vaccine supply and tech transfer, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health approved the CIGB-developed Abdala Covid-19 vaccine ahead of Phuc’s visit.

Vietnamese media reported that Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel at a telephone conversation with his Vietnamese counterpart at the end of August announced Cuba’s commitment to send millions of its Covid-19 vaccines to Hanoi and transfer the production technology.

Vietnam is Cuban’s second-largest trade partner, with vaccines and pharmaceutical products being the main import items from the Caribbean island.

Cuba also has two Covid-19 vaccines of national production namely Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus, and one candidate called Soberana 01.

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