FDA approves lung cancer vaccine project between Roswell and Cuba

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “We did it!” Roswell Park Cancer Institute CEO Dr. Candace Johnson cheered when she made her way to the podium Wednesday.

Johnson’s joy came from the FDA’s recent approval of a lung cancer vaccine project between Roswell and Cuba.

Work with Cuba on developing a vaccine has spanned many months. Roswell penned a deal with Cuban medical officials in April.

Since then, collaboration between the United States and Cuba has expanded.

MORE | See Johnson talk about developing a cancer vaccine on Wake Up! here.

During Wednesday’s announcement, Johnson said a clinical trial of the vaccine, dubbed CIMAvax, would not have been possible without a trade mission headed up by New York State. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown spoke during the event.

“This groundbreaking trial at Roswell Park is the result of our historic partnership with Cuba, and is a testament to New York’s storied legacy as a national leader in progress and innovation,” Cuomo said. “With Roswell Park at the forefront of world-renowned medical research, we are this much closer to making a breakthrough that will combat cancer and save lives. This latest milestone marks another chapter in Buffalo’s success story, and we look forward to seeing the impacts of this partnership resonate in New York and across the nation.”

The vaccine trial itself will be small. It will be tested on about 60-90 people with advanced stage lung cancer.

The trials are expected to begin within 30 days.

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