More than 80 countries have expressed interest in acquiring Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha 2b, a Cuban product that has gained fame for its results in the therapy of coronavirus positive patients.
Of the patients with COVID-19 on the island, 93.4% had been treated with Heberon―trade name of Interferon Alfa 2b―, according to data revealed by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) cited by the official newspaper Granma.
The cited official figures indicate that of the patients treated in Cuba with this medicine until mid-April, only 5.5% reached the state of seriousness, and among them the mortality rate was just 0.9%, indices well below those registered in the rest of the world.
The care protocol established by MINSAP to face the pandemic foresees the use of interferon, along with other drugs, in patients confirmed with the virus, but not in those who develop severe or critical states of the disease.
Dr. Eulogio Pimentel, general director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) of Cuba, assured that “the data shows that the protocol in our country is effective, and interferon plays a role in the results.”
The scientist also referred to an article that shows the results of a clinical study on the drug carried out in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated.
As part of the research, 2,944 individuals were treated with Interferon Alpha 2 b, while 3,387 other subjects did not receive the medication.
Of untreated persons 50% contracted the disease, while no patients were reported in the group benefiting from the Cuban biotechnology product, according to Pimentel.
At the end of March, 45 countries from different geographical regions had already expressed their desire to acquire Heberon, with the aim of incorporating it into the protocol for patients infected with the new coronavirus.
Due to its proven antiviral capacity, interest in the Cuban product has almost doubled since then.
In Cuba it has been used for more than three decades in the therapy of viral diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, Herpes zoster, and HIV/AIDS, and now it is also used in the treatment for COVID-19, as well as in its prevention in risk groups.