Press Release

Institut Pasteur Korea launches S. Korea`s First Global Infectious Disease Specimen Bank (GISB)

Institut Pasteur Korea launches 
S. Korea's First Global I
nfectious Disease Specimen Bank(GISB)

Institut Pasteur Korea has launched the global human materials biobank, which specializes in collecting and distributing infectious disease specimens.

It has been licensed as a human materials biobank, in accordance with the Bioethics and Safety Act in Korea, that legally secures and promptly distributes the samples of domestic and foreign infectious disease patients that are required for rapid response to emerging infectious diseases and post COVID-19 research of the private sectors. 

The establishment and approval of the human materials biobank was made through the 'Virus Research Resource Center Establishment Project,' as a part of the 'BioMedical Technology Development Project' supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

The samples to be collected in the biobank are domestic and international patient specimens of various infectious diseases, covering respiratory, vector-borne, zoonotic, sexually transmitted, and water-borne diseases.

In addition, the biobank will be operated as a demand-customized resource bank that prioritizes the collection and provision of the specimens that are in demand.

The biobank will request the medical institutions for the collection of blood (plasma, serum) and body fluids (urine, sputum, bronchial washing fluid, etc.) from patients with infectious diseases or receive the residual specimens after testing.

In particular, domestic specimens will be received from medical institutions with infectious disease departments. Overseas specimens will be collected through collaboration and agreements with the Pasteur Network, overseas blood banks, and medical institutions in compliance with the Nagoya Protocol.

To protect donors' rights and distribute and provide resources with fairness to academia, institutes, and industry, the scientific validity and public interest of the utilization plan, the appropriateness of resource utilization, and privacy measures will be reviewed before the provision of the resources. Additionally, a certain amount of commission fees will be charged for the resources spent on collection, conservation management, characterization, and distribution.

“The Global Human Materials Biobank is Korea's first human-derived materials bank approved by a non-medical institution and it is the country's only biobank specialized in infectious disease specimen resources. Utilizing the biobank, we will respond to the demand for fundamental bioresources by converting the residual specimens into public resources to be used to facilitate infectious disease R&D," said Byungkwon Lim, CEO of Institut Pasteur Korea.

"In particular, we will contribute to the development of the related industry by securing samples of infectious diseases from overseas and providing them to the scientific communities. We believe our efforts will lead to a preemptive response to global infectious diseases and to the acceleration of domestic industries collaborating with overseas," he added.