Press Release

Institut Pasteur Korea and the National Blood Transfusion Center of Cote d`Ivoire collaborate in infectious diseases research through mutual utilization of bio-resources

Institut Pasteur Korea and the National Blood Transfusion Center of Côte d'Ivoire collaborate in infectious diseases research through mutual utilization of bio-resources 
- Integrate infectious disease resources of the African region with the R&D capabilities of Korea -
- Accelerate research on diagnosis and prevention of high-risk infectious diseases including
COVID-19, Zika, dengue, and hemorrhagic fever -

On Jan 26, Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK) announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Blood Transfusion Center of Côte d’Ivoire (CNTS Côte d’Ivoire) and launched a mutual collaboration to strengthen infectious diseases research capabilities based on the common utilization and sharing of bio-resources. 

As part of the effort to integrate infectious disease resources collected from the African region with the R&D capabilities of Korea, the two organizations are pursuing joint research, education and training, and support to strengthen research capabilities – all involving the exchange and utilization of bio-resources.

The CNTS Côte d’Ivoire is a national public institution responsible for all activities related to blood transfusion and safety throughout the country, which includes total analysis and control of the blood taken, transport and, realization of the supply of blood products. IPK, owning great expertise in basic and translational research in the field of infectious diseases and immunology, is working to establish a Bio Resource Bank to function as a repository of infectious disease resources. 

At present, IPK has embarked on a collaboration with CNTS Côte d’Ivoire to collect its blood samples from COVID-19 patients. Utilizing the resources, IPK aims to develop a blood-derived reference material that satisfies international standards such as that of the WHO, thereby enabling the advancement of domestic diagnostics technology and enhancement of global accessibility to diagnostics.

Additionally, IPK plans to strengthen its abilities in obtaining overseas flagship resources and increase their usability by providing CNTS with protocols and tools for systematic collection, management, and standardization of bio-resources. Moreover, IPK will support the advancement of basic research and development of infectious disease diagnostics and prevention technology through the preemptive acquisition of resources for timely response to high-risk infectious diseases, including not only COVID-19, but also Zika, dengue, and hemorrhagic fever. 

Dr. Youngmee Jee, the CEO of IPK, explained, “Infectious disease bio-resources are core assets required for preparation of and timely response to the public health crisis, as they provide the scientific basis for configuring a quick response strategy; During the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak, IPK was at the forefront of therapeutics development utilizing the samples obtained through the Pasteur Network.” Dr. Jee revealed, “IPK is striving to secure diverse bio-resources by actively discovering and employing domestic and international networks. While integrating such resources with IPK’s infectious disease research capabilities and infrastructure, we will share them with domestic researchers and industry to benefit national and global infectious disease response and preparedness.”