About Roswell Park’s Cuban Collaboration

Watch the Sept. 26, 2018, press conference announcing the first biotech company pairing U.S. and Cuban partners.

October 26, 2016 announcement of Roswell Park's clinical trial to study CIMAvax-EGF®. Watch the full press conference or read more in the press release.

2011   A scientist from the Centro de Inmunología Molecular (CIM) in Havana, Cuba, gives a presentation about CIMAvax-EGF, an immunotherapy developed at the CIM as a treatment for lung cancer, to immunology/immunotherapy experts at Roswell Park

2013   Roswell Park begins laboratory studies to learn more about the potential of CIMAvax and other CIM-developed immunotherapies

2015   At the conclusion of a trade mission to Cuba led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Roswell Park President and CEO Candace Johnson, PhD, agrees to a collaborative research partnership with the CIM

2017   Roswell Park initiates an early-stage clinical trial of CIMAvax-EGF in combination with another immunotherapy in patients with advanced lung cancer – the first time U.S. patients receive CIMAvax as part of an FDA-authorized clinical study

2018   In September:

  • Roswell Park and CIM, through their respective affiliates GBCT II LLC and CIMAB S.A., form Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance S.A. This company — the first-ever joint biotech venture pairing U.S. and Cuban partners — is formed to advance the development of pioneering immunotherapies not widely studied or available outside of Cuba.
  • Dr. Grace Dy presents the first findings from Roswell Park’s CIMAvax/Opdivo study, at a major lung cancer research conference in Toronto, Canada.

Additional details:

  • Roswell Park is the only U.S. center partnering with the CIM to develop four Cuban-developed immunotherapies — CIMAvax, IL-2 muteins, VSSP and another agent that targets tumor-associated gangliosides — and holds a license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that permits preclinical and clinical research using these medical therapies.
  • CIMAvax has already been used to treat about 5,000 patients worldwide, and is an approved therapy for lung cancer in Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Paraguay and Peru. See the most recent research on CIMAvax.
  • In addition to showing promise as a lung cancer treatment, medical evidence suggests that CIMAvax may also prove effective in treating colon, head and neck, prostate, breast and pancreatic cancers — and potentially could be used to prevent cancer. Further study is needed to confirm this.
  • The CIMAvax study is now open. Those who complete our online eligibility form and are found to be eligible to participate will be contacted. To see what other clinical studies are currently open at Roswell Park, please view our clinical trials or contact our ASK-Roswell Park team at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or AskRoswell@Roswellpark.org.