Press Release

Institut Pasteur Korea Wins DNDi’s Project of the Year Award

Pangyo, Gyeonggi, 31 July, 2017 | Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK, CEO: Dr. Wang-Shick Ryu) announces that the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) has awarded the Project of the Year to the NTD (Neglected Tropical Diseases) Drug Discovery Booster during the 6th World Congress on Leishmaniasis held in Toledo-Spain.

Left to Right: Charles Mowbray (DNDi), Graeme Bilbe (DNDi), Ryu Yoshida (Shionogi), Yuichiro Akao (Takeda), Shuichi Suzuki (Eisai), Nao-aki Watanabe (Eisai), Mitsuyuki Shimada (Takeda), Osamu Yoshida (Shionogi), Ieuan Roberts (AstraZeneca), Stacie Can-an (Celgene), David Shum (IPK), Benjamin Perry (DNDi), Bernard Pecoul (DNDi)

The multilateral collaborative NTD Drug Discovery Booster project cuts the cost of early stage drug discovery and accelerates therapeutic development for two of the world‘s most neglected diseases – Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. This project was started with IPK in April 2015 and will continue through 2018.

The ground-breaking collaboration between DNDi, IPK, and five global pharmaceutical firms, Eisai Co Ltd, Shionogi & Co Ltd, Takeda Pharmaceutical Ltd, AstraZeneca, and Celgene allows simultaneous access to millions of unique, proprietary compounds, in the hunt for new treatment leads for Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Firstly, DNDi and pharmaceutical partners conduct virtual screening to select potential compounds. And IPK’s expertise in screening and analysis, coupled with state-of-the-art technology is being used to identify promising compounds. Again, DNDi and the pharmaceutical partners analyze promising compounds to improve hits. Based on the improved hits, the next compounds will be selected for rescreening. Through the rapid iterative process, new treatment leads will be rapidly identified for follow-up studies.

David Shum, Team Leader of Assay Development and Screening, IPK, says “We quickly identify and optimize candidate compounds and narrow the search field, leading to more favorable quality leads that are more likely to make it through late-stage product development”. He adds, ”By weeding out failures early in the drug discovery process, we are filling the pipeline with drug targets with true potential, ensuring the most effective use of money and time.”

Dr. Wang-Shick Ryu, IPK CEO says, “We are honored to collaborate with DNDi and top caliber pharmaceutical firms on a global project of great importance.” He also stated, “This project is a perfect example of the joint research projects that connect IPK’s technology and pharmaceutical company’s resources. Together we have accomplished so much and we will continue to promote joint research projects.”

IPK has proven screening platform for drug discovery and is open to collaboration. Please contact RTM team (031-8018-8000 | for more information.

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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 institution, 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).