Institut Pasteur Korea - Medicinal Chemistry

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Medicinal Chemistry

Introduction of group leader

Inhee Choi, R.Ph., Ph.D.
Doctorate: College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University (2006)
Post-Doctorate: BMDRC, Korea (2006-2008), NIAID, National Institute of Health, USA (2008 - 2010)
Senior Researcher, Medicinal Chemistry, Bioinformatics, Institut Pasteur Korea (2010-2014, 2016-2020)
Head, Cheminformatics, Institut Pasteur Korea (2015)
Head, Medicinal Chemistry, Institut Pasteur Korea (2020-Present)

Office phone: +82-31-8018-8164
Office location: R5.47

Research Interests

The Medicinal Chemistry team focuses on the optimization of compounds, which are identified through primary screening as being effective against target diseases. The optimization process is a multidisciplinary task to improve potential of becoming a new drug by optimizing biological activity, selectivity, physicochemical properties, in vivo properties, and safety. Within the context of cell-based assays, optimization to create drug candidates is accelerated by eliminating unsatisfactory compounds, which have low cell permeability, as well as cytotoxicity, while evaluating biological activity. Additionally, integration of evaluating in vivo properties and toxicity make our drug discovery process faster and more efficient. Thereby qualified advanced molecules or preclinical candidates are created through lead optimization and our ample experience and creativity leads to successful research results.

The Medicinal Chemistry team’s area of expertise lies in diseases like tuberculosis, cancer, hepatitis C, influenza, antibiotics etc. We had received funding for research and development from Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) for 18 months (2018-2019) for ‘Discovery of novel anti-tubercular agent for the treatment of multidrug-resistant/extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis’. The endeavor on discovering novel drug candidates continues by strategically integrating synthetic chemistry as well as chembioinformatics.

Our areas of activity include:
• Advancing and accelerating the optimization on drug discovery program
• Developing novel chemical platform technology for innovative drug discovery (Establishment of PROTAC platform)
• Developing probe molecules for identifying target and understanding the in vivo mechanism of drug candidates
• Developing tool compounds for monitoring drug localization in either the cell or living animal
• Provide open analytical chemistry services, synthesis know-hows and molecular modeling analysis by giving access to IPK’s well-equipped infrastructure to support academia and pharmaceutical companies.

Recent Publications

Discovery of thienothiazolocarboxamide analogues as novel anti-tubercular agent.
Jin G, Kim YM, Lee A, Choi J, Kang S, Seo M, Seo JJ, Lee S, Kang J, Kim J, Park S, Woo M, Carla V, Lee H, Heo J, Shum D, Park K, Delorme V, Choi I
Bioorg Med Chem. 2020 Oct 3; 28(23):115797

Strategic Expansion and Management of Chemical Libraries for Drug Discovery. 
Choi I, Ko Y, Lee H, Kim K, Radu C.
Bull Kor Chem Soc. 2018 Jun 39:794–800

Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of novel fused ring analogues of Q203 as antitubercular agents.
Kang S, Kim YM, Jeon H, Park S, Seo MJ, Lee S, Park D, Nam J, Lee S, Nam K, Kim S, Kim J
Eur J Med Chem. 2017 Aug 18; 136:420-427

Putative 3D Structure of QcrB from Mycobacterium tuberculosis Cytochrome bc1 Complex, a Novel Drug-Target for New Series of Antituberculosis Agent Q203.
Ko Y, Choi I
Bull Kor Chem Soc. 2016 Apr 22; 37:725-731.

Discovery of Q203, a potent clinical candidate for the treatment of tuberculosis.
Pethe K, Bifani P, Jang J, Kang S, Park S, Ahn S, Jiricek J, Jung J, Jeon HK, Cechetto J, Christophe T, Lee H, Kempf M, Jackson M, Lenaerts AJ, Pham H, Jones V, Seo MJ, Kim YM, Seo M, Seo JJ, Park D, Ko Y, Choi I, Kim R, Kim SY, Lim S, Yim SA, Nam J, Kang H, Kwon H, Oh CT, Cho Y, Jang Y, Kim J, Chua A, Tan BH, Nanjundappa MB, Rao SP, Barnes WS, Wintjens R, Walker JR, Alonso S, Lee S, Kim J, Oh S, Oh T, Nehrbass U, Han SJ, No Z, Lee J, Brodin P, Cho SN, Nam K, Kim J
Nat Med. 2013 Sep; 19(9):1157-60