Press Release

Collaborative Drug Discovery Project with Samjin Pharm & IPK Partner Targeting Liver Cancer

Pangyo, Gyeonggi, 4 July, 2016 | Samjin Pharm and Insitut Pasteur Korea (IPK), with support from the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, [2016 IPK-Pharma co-research Project] will launch its first Drug Discovery project on liver cancer. Starting July 2016, Samjin Pharm’s compound optimization technology and IPK’s Phenomic screening technology will be used together to conduct basic research to discover drug candidates with the potential to be a first-in-class liver cancer drug. Despite liver cancer being the sixth most frequent cancer globally, and the second leading cause of cancer death, it has been difficult to develop targeted therapies. Research will take place over the next three years, but both Samjin Pharm and IPK have an expectation to continue collaborating on other drug discovery research projects in the coming years.
Dr. Min-Hyo Ki, Director of Samjin Pharm Research Institute says, "Liver cancer and pancreatic cancer drugs have a low rate of success in clinical trials because the extracellular matrix is an important factor in the growth and metastasis of the cancers. Through this project, we can use a 3D cell culture system which simulates the cancer cell’s extracellular matrix, so we can screen novel compounds, highly improv-ing the outcome of clinical trials.”
Dr. Haengran Seo, Group Leader of the Cancer Biology Research Laboratory at IPK says, “The early drug discovery process is an extremely important step in developing new drugs. IPK’s assay and screening technologies and methodology combined with IPK and Samjin Pharm’s current basic research will identify and optimize compounds that will lead to promising quality candidates for further late stage development.”
The collaboration between Samjin Pharm and IPK is supported by the Gyeonggi Provincial Government as part of the province’s mission to reinforce and invest in the research and development capabilities of Gyeonggi-based institutions.  In 2016, five projects will be selected to co-research with IPK. The chosen institutions will have access to IPK’s award-winning screening platform and skilled research specialists as well as financial support from the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, generously matching the budget 1:1. 
Dr. HeeJong Shin, Executive Director of Samjin Pharm Research Institute says, “By combining Samjin’s drug discovery capability and IPK’s drug discovery technology, we are expecting to discover first-in-class drug with a novel mechanism not only for chemotherapy-refractory liver cancer but also for other incurable diseases.” Also he adds, “Having MOU with IPK, we can secure research infrastructure so we can keep doing our drug discovery research.”
“Evolving understanding of disease mechanisms and advancing assay/screening technologies have ena-bled a faster, more efficient timeline from scientific discovery to drugs,” said Roberto Bruzzone, IPK CEO. “And working together as part of a dynamic community, focusing on innovation strengthens and our capabilities to fill knowledge gaps of commerce to improve health and benefit society.”
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About Institut Pasteur Korea
Institut Pasteur Korea, located in Pangyo, was founded in 2004. It is a private institution devoted to dis-covery biology for infectious diseases. IPK’s unique translational capabilities and small molecule interven-tion technology make it possible to rapidly address unmet global health needs through diagnostics for detection and prevention. IPK strives to have fostering collaborations, partnerships, and educational out-reach to share its knowledge and research know-how. Institut Pasteur Korea is a member of the Institut Pasteur International Network which brings together 33 institutes located in 29 countries, united by the same mission, culture, and values. Leveraging vast human and scientific community, the Network is in-volved in international research projects, public health, teaching and training programs. By its diversity and global presence, the Institut Pasteur International Network aims to respond, in an innovative way, to international public health issues and priorities.