Just last month, the FDA accepted a Cuban lung cancer vaccine to begin US clinical trials. The vaccine, called CimaVax, has been available to Cubans since 2011. This development is promising, but also brings with it many questions. First of those is, whether this mark a new era at the FDA? Now, it may seem dramatic, but this could really usher in an era as drastic as the new relationship between the United States and Cuba. Historically, cancer drugs have taken a beating during the FDA’s processes. It takes so long to get through the rigorous and unpredictable process and so much money, that many companies are deterred from even making the attempt. In the meantime, countless lives are lost from the disease. However, the FDA just allowed clinical trials of a cancer vaccine from another country whom we would not have had relations with. This could be a step in the right direction.
Our relationship with Cuba has been a tumultuous one. For decades, we distanced ourselves thinking that would change the island’s government. Now, President Obama has reopened relations, a historic move to say the least. Though, this new cancer drug from Cuba could be an even more historic event if it actually gets through FDA to be released to consumers. According to Medscape, the benefits of the vaccine may be in danger of being overblown. We would hope not. The possibility of cancer being wiped out and from companies are research facilities outside the major drug companies is promising. Many cancer drug researchers and producers have awaited the day when the process many become easier and this new Cuban cancer vaccine may be paving the way.