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Institut Pasteur Korea and Sanofi open a new research collaboration to combat HBV
Date:11/2/2011

will facilitate the discovery of drugs based on novel mechanisms to combat HBV, which is responsible for 38% of all cancer deaths in Korea".

Currently, most available HBV drugs inhibit reverse transcription, the process by which the virus RNA is transcribed into DNA for replication. However, new therapies are needed to compensate for the emerging resistance of the virus to these drugs. In contrast to the existing approaches, the IP-K screening effort focuses on compounds that interfere with the assembly of the HBV capsid, the outer shell of the virus. This approach is aimed at preventing the release of infectious virus particles into the bloodstream, thereby reducing the viral load in patients.

The leaders of the collaborating organizations share enthusiasm for the project. "We are excited to pave the way for connecting an excellent research output of Yonsei University to Sanofi, a global healthcare leader. This is a sophisticated approach that will accelerate the discovery of drugs to combat HBV," explains Dr. Ulf Nehrbass, CEO of IP-K. "It reduces cost, opens the door to entirely new classes of drugs, and offers new insights into the mechanisms of disease." Dr. Jae Eun Kim, the team leader at Sanofi also expects successful research achievements, and said, "This project will be a great opportunity to open a new era in HBV treatment.

Under the terms of condition, Sanofi will fund the initial phase of the project that is anticipated to last for one year, from which IP-K and Sanofi staff will jointly determine which compounds should be brought forward for optimization and further development. It is, "one of the foremost projects on HBV drug development being undertaken today and the new therapy will significantly increase possibility for complete recovery from Hepatitis B when supplemented by the current treatments." adds Dr. Wang-Shik Ryu.

This R&D collaboration was made possible by the Global Alliance Project (GAP) framework, wh
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Contact: Jean Kim
babunn@ip-korea.org
82-318-018-8041
Institut Pasteur Korea
Source:Eurekalert

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