Air Canada & UPS Deliver 1st Cancer Vaccine For Use In FDA-Approved Clinical Trial; RPCI Seeks US Carrier

Dorval, Canada-based Air Canada (a Star Alliance member along with Chicago, Illinois-based United Airlines), delivered 500 doses of vaccine (59 kilograms; pallet dimensions 80x60x76) from Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto, Canada, and then transported by Atlanta, Georgia-based United Parcel Service (UPS) truck to the Peace Bridge border crossing at Buffalo, New York, before being delivered to Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).

On 17 November 2016, vaccine from Cuba arrived to the RPCI's Investigational Pharmacy in perfect condition- taking 72 hours door-to-door.  The shipment passed United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection at the United States-Canada border without issue.

The first test shipment of saline from HAV to RPCI in October 2016 required ten (10) days due to issues with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  As a result, RPCI created a spreadsheet with information required by Air Canada, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), CBP, and Buffalo District office of the FDA office, distributed that spreadsheet to the relevant parties and then followed up with them by telephone.

RPCI expects five (5) additional shipments through 20 January 2017 to supply the two clinical trials.

RPCI believes that the supply chain Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is operational from the the point Republic of Cuba government-operated Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM) therapeutics enter Canada and then the United States.  

RPCI continues to seek a United States-based air carrier to handle the shipments so that the process is bilateral rather than trilateral.