Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Delese Darko, has met with Pedro Luis Despaigne Gonzalez, the Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, to discuss progress on the development of Cuba’s COVID-19 vaccine.
A statement issued by the FDA in Accra on Thursday explained that the meeting followed an earlier one held in November 2020, where the Centre for State Control of Drugs and Medical Devices of the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FDA, to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in the area of health promotion.
It said the present meeting, which was at the request of the Ambassador, was, therefore, to brief Ghana’s FDA on the status of clinical trials being conducted in Cuba on four Covid-19 candidate vaccines, with each at different phases of clinical development.
According to Mr Gonzalez, the COVID-19 vaccine, ‘Soberana 02’, was Cuba’s most advanced candidate against the COVID-19 virus, which had currently passed Phase I trials in Cuba.
He indicated that Phase II trials had also been carried out on 910 patients, while Phase III trials would commence in February 2021.
Mr Gonzalez again said Cuba intended to offer the transfer of technology through an agreement with the Ghanaian Pharmaceutical Industry for the supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredients for the formulation, production and packaging of the vaccine in Ghana.
Mr Gonzalez said countries like India, Vietnam, Iran, Venezuela and Pakistan have also expressed interest in acquiring the ‘Soberana 02’ vaccine.
Mrs Darko, on her part, expressed gratitude to the people and Government of Cuba for their continued solidarity 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.
She further expressed her utmost appreciation for the intended technological transfer support from Cuba, stressing that the meeting presented an opportunity to render support, build capacity, further develop and challenge the local pharmaceutical industry (allopathic and herbal).
She said through the relationship, the pharmaceutical industry would make advances in promoting health, thus, improving the health standards of the Ghanaian.
Present at the meeting were Seth Seneake, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Health Products and Technologies Division, Mrs Yvonne Nkrumah, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Corporate Services and Mrs Mercy Mintah Gyampoh, the Pharmaceutical liaison for the Republic of Cuba in Ghana.