November 02, 2011, Seoul, S. Korea One of the most common and serious infectious diseases, Hepatitis B, is to be targeted in a new collaborative venture between the internationally-renowned translational research institute, Institut Pasteur Korea (IP-K), and the Korean arm of the leading global healthcare company, Sanofi-Aventis Korea. The goal is to develop and validate a high throughput assay to screen IP-K's chemical libraries for novel compounds that can be developed as new drugs.
Despite the availability of medicines and a vaccine, about 5% of the global population, that is about 350 million people worldwide, is chronic carrier of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). A proportion of those chronically infected - as high as 8% of the population in some Asian countries, including Korea and China - is under risk of deterioration into liver cirrhosis and cancer.
"This new research collaboration provides a textbook example of modern drug discovery in action," says Dr. Marc Windisch, who will lead the team at IP-K. "It brings promising basic research from an academic laboratory that of Dr. Wang-Shik Ryu of the Department of Biochemistry at Yonsei University in Seoul into the high-throughput translational research environment at IP-K." IP-K researchers are developing cellular models enabling the identification of inhibitors that target a specific step in the viral life cycle. Once perfected, those cellular models will be used to comprehensively screen IP-K's compound libraries for novel antiviral interventions.
The development work at IP-K will be undertaken in partnership with research scientists from Sanofi, which will help to take the lead of promising compounds through optimization, development and commercialization. "Our open innovation strategy is to elucidate Asian-specific diseases and to collaborate with leading institutions", said Frank Jiang, VP and Head of TSU Asia Pacific R&D at Sanofi. "The translational capabilities of IP-K
|Contact: Jean Kim|
Institut Pasteur Korea