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CIGB-258 and Itolizumab Show Success in COVID-19 Treatment

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CIGB-258 and Itolizumab (Anti-CD6) now being used in Cuba to treat COVID-19 infection. Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

Two more drugs, CIGB-258 and Itolizumab (Anti-CD6), manufactured by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) have been added to Cuba’s arsenal of drugs in the fight against COVID-19.

Dr. Francisco Duran, the National Director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health told the media on Friday that the two drugs have demonstrated success in the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases. He said 52 critically ill patients have been treated with the drugs resulting in a 92% survival rate.

CIGB-258 is a peptide vaccine designed to treat chronic inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Itolizumab is a humanized anti-CD6 monoclonal antibody.

Although the drugs do not “cure” COVID-19, they have shown success in reducing hyper-inflammation, a symptom of patients in the critical stages of COVID-19.

Cuba is also using blood plasma from recovered patients to help patients in serious condition.

Both drugs have received approval for use from Cuba’s regulatory body, the Center for State Control of Drugs.

These drugs have demonstrated high recovery rates but are not a “cure” for COVID-19, as no cure-all drug has been found yet. The drugs have few side effects and do not damage internal organs.

As of today, the Ministry of Health reports that there have been 1,963 cases of COVID-19, 1,709 recoveries, and 82 deaths since the first appearance of the infection on the Island.

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