Institut Pasteur Korea Congresswoman Dr. Hyunyoung Shin, a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Health & Welfare Committee, visited IPK’s research site of COVID-19 therapeutics development



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Congresswoman Dr. Hyunyoung Shin, a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Health & Welfare Committee, visited IPK’s research site of COVID-19 therapeutics development
December 24, 2021

Congresswoman Dr. Hyunyoung Shin, a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Health & Welfare Committee, visited IPK’s research site of COVID-19 therapeutics development


Congresswoman Dr. Hyunyoung Shin, a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Health & Welfare Committee, visited Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK) on Dec 17 to discuss with Dr. Youngmee Jee (CEO of IPK) the progress of COVID-19 therapeutics development and pandemic response strategies and observed the scene of infectious disease research. 



Regarding IPK’s contributions to COVID-19 response, its drug repositioning research advancing the COVID-19 drug discovery was introduced, followed by the rapid implementation of global clinical trials of the identified drug candidates by means of international collaboration. Attention was given to IPK’s technology support services employing the institute’s screening platform fit for research on high-risk infectious diseases, which enabled the industry, academia, and research institutes to accelerate therapeutics and vaccine development. 

In particular, Congresswoman Dr. Shin and Dr. Jee discussed measures for responding to the omicron variant which is likely to become the next dominant coronavirus strain following the delta variant. Dr. Jee explained that IPK is examining ways to quickly acquire variant strains, taking advantage of its domestic and international research collaboration partners such as the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and the Pasteur Network. She mentioned that the institute is planning to screen for drugs that can effectively neutralize the omicron variant, and shared the current status of its ongoing research to develop a pan-coronavirus drug that can effectively treat various types of coronavirus infections.

Afterwards, Congresswoman Dr. Shin took a tour of IPK’s research facilities including the image-based screening platform and the automated drug dispensing system within the BSL-2 and BSL-3 facilities – the institute’s core infrastructure for infectious disease research. 

Dr. Jee said, “IPK is striving to respond to infectious diseases in Korea and contribute to global public health through its unique infectious disease research capabilities, advanced infrastructure, and international network bridging domestic and foreign R&D resources.” She added, “We are making multifaceted efforts for stable long-term research and continuous technological advancement, for which we would like to ask for active support from the National Assembly as well.”

 
Dr. Jee and Congresswoman Dr. Shin, both graduates of medical school and leaders in public health, developed acquaintance before Dr. Shin started her legislative activities, as they exchanged experiences and expertise as female medical professionals and global public health experts.