Press Release

J2H Biotech & IPK Team Up to Discover Novel Antibacterial Entities

Pangyo, Gyeonggi, 12 July, 2016 | J2H Biotech and Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK), with support from the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, [2016 IPK-Pharma co-research Project] will launch its second Drug Discovery project in July 2016.  
The collaboration combines J2H Biotech’s drug design and synthesis technology and IPK’s basic science research capabilities and screening technology to discover novel small-molecule antibacterial agents effective against superbugs like M. tuberculosis, S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa. A ‘superbug’ is a term used to describe bacteria that has become resistance to antibiotic drugs. Co-research will take place over the next three years. 
While the evolution of resistant strains is a natural phenomenon, the speed and spread of drug-resistant strains is a serious worldwide public health concern. Antibiotic resistance is present in all parts of the world and the emergence of multidrug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) mechanisms is spreading globally. Scientists have warned the world is on the cusp of a ‘post-antibiotic era’ and society is in great need for new antibacterial drugs. 
Soojin Jang, Group Leader of the Antibacterial Resistance Research Laboratory at IPK says, “According to a recent report from Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS), antibiotic resistance rate on specific infectious diseases in hospital is almost 90% so there are some infectious diseases which cannot be treat effectively with current antibiotics.” She adds, “Through this collaboration, we will develop a solid foundation to discover new effective treatments.”
Also Vincent Delorme, Group Leader of the Tuberculosis Research Laboratory at IPK says “Health authorities in Korea are anticipating a rise in tuberculosis cases within 10 years due to the aging of the population. To prevent the spread of the disease and control the appearance of drug resistance, new, potent anti-tuberculosis treatments are needed. Our collaboration with J2H will allow faster discovery of such drugs thanks to their strong abilities in drug design and synthesis.”
Jason Kim and HyungChul Ryu, co-representatives of J2H Biotech say, “Medical costs and the mortality rate are increasing rapidly due to the rise of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance and MDR bacteria threaten mankind.” They add, “Co-research allows us to take advantage of both IPK and J2H Biotech’s strengths. Together we combine and maximize our organizations’ research capabilities to discover new effective treatments.”
“Antibiotic resistance is a global public health crisis of great concern. The burden of resistance is measured in financial, mortality, morbidity and even psychological costs. Creative approaches and collaboration across bio sectors are needed to generate innovative solutions and encourage the discovery and development of effective countermeasures,” said Roberto Bruzzone, IPK CEO.
The collaboration between J2H Biotech 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. As of July 2016, two partners have been identified: Samjin Pharma/IPK and J2H Biotech/IPK. These 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. 
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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 discovery biology for infectious diseases. IPK’s unique translational capabilities and small molecule intervention 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 outreach 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 involved 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.