Press Release

Institut Pasteur Korea to Host International Hepatitis B Virus Experts

Scientists share the latest information from basic research to unmet medical needs

Pangyo, Gyeonggi, 25 August, 2016 | Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK) will host a one-day workshop on hepatitis B virus (HBV): HBV Today – Science, Needs & Drugs on 26 September, 2016. International hepatitis experts from the United States of America, Australia, France, England, Germany, China and Korea will gather to share and discuss the latest research trends, unmet medical needs and development of novel drugs.
HBV is transmitted through contact with blood or blood products of an infected person and can cause a chronic, potentially life-threatening liver infection. The virus is responsible for up to 70% of all liver cancer worldwide and is the most common reason for liver transplants. HBV is a major global health problem with an estimated 240 million people chronically infected. The highest viral prevalence can be found in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, where between 5–10% of the adult population is chronically infected (according to WHO).



In Korea, HBV infection rates have decreased since the adoption of an HBV vaccination program in the early 1990s. Today, Korea’s prevalence rate stands at 3.2% (male) and 2.7% (female) (according to KCDC and MOHW, 2014), with males between the ages of 30-50 and elderly having the highest prevalence rate. Diagnosis, optimal therapy, and cost-effective surveillance strategies are still required for the middle-aged and elderly Koreans.
For patients that contract HBV, there are antiviral therapies available. However, current treatments do not cure chronic hepatitis B. Therefore long-term treatment is required but the development of viral drug resistance is a major concern.
Dr. Marc Windisch, Group Leader, IPK Hepatitis Research Laboratory, says, “Open, collaborative scientific exchange is vital to quickly address unmet medical needs. It is crucial to bring basic scientists, clinicians, companies and even patients together to identify therapeutic solutions for chronic hepatitis B. These types of intensive seminars accelerate the identification and development of novel, urgently needed HBV drugs.”
Dr. Roberto Bruzzone, IPK CEO, notes “Hepatitis B is a major global and national health problem with significant effects on public health and an economic burden. It is essential we work together to find cost effective solutions to control the spread and treatment of the disease. IPK is delighted to host a focused workshop with the potential to speed up progress and stimulate cross-fertilization of ideas and methods in this field.”
    Hepatitis B virus Workshop
    HBV Today – Science, Needs & Drugs
    Time: 09:00 - 19:30, 26 September, 2016
    Place: 1st floor auditorium, IPK (Pangyo)
                      *Workshop is free but seats are limited to 200 people.

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About Institut Pasteur Korea
Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK) is an international research institute focused on addressing global health issues with a combination of cutting edge approaches in order to understand disease mechanisms and develop new treatments. By promoting multi-disciplinary projects, IPK is at the forefront of drug discovery and an economic growth engine that contributes to Korea’s scientific intellectual and technical resources. IPK has four core missions of public interest – 1) Research, combining front line biology, IT, and chemistry, with innovative cell-based drug discovery platforms that identify novel molecular targets for potential new therapies to treat diseases, 2) Education, offering a wide range of programming to nurture the development of the next generation of scientists and health professionals, 3) Public Health, working in collaboration with national and international health authorities, and 4) Translation of biomedical discoveries to improve health via technology transfer and industrial partnerships.
IPK is a member of the Institut Pasteur International Network (Network). As a hub intuition, IPK plays a key role in the Network, serving as a bridge between Korea and global bio-pharma science, expanding Korea’s R&D base collaborative research projects with global alliances
The institute was established in April 2004 in collaboration with Institut Pasteur Paris and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), with support from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP). IPK also has a great supporter in the Gyeonggi Provincial government (2005 – 2015 : Block funding | 2016 – Present : drug discovery co-resarch fund for pharm industries).