Clinical trails are now underway in eight countries for a new Cuban-made treatment for hepatitis B virus (HBV), Granma reports. According to researchers, preliminary tests show that the shot is safer and more effective than other HBV medications.

The promising new drug, HeberNasvac, was created by Cuba’s Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center in 2014. International testing for HeberNasvac, which is either injected subcutaneously or administered through the nasal passages, was organized with collaboration of the French biotech company Abivax.

Clinical trials have sourced a sample of 230 patients in 50 clinics across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand, which are some of the global regions most affected by hep B.

Another clinical study, which is still in the process of recruiting participants, plans to provide HeberNasvac to 160 people across 13 medical centers in Cuba. The drug has already been approved by regulators at the Cuban Center for State Control of Medications, and is expected to roll out in clinics throughout the Caribbean country by 2016.