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French envoy visits Pasteur Korea to watch Covid-19 research
  • By Jeong Sae-im
  • Published 2020.04.23 17:13
  • Updated 2020.04.24 14:44
  • comments 0

French Ambassador Philippe Lefort visited Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK) in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, on Thursday to learn how much its research of the new coronavirus treatment progressed and discuss enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

The institute told Ambassador Lefort that it had made significant progress to pick the most effective drug candidates to treat Covid-19.

French Ambassador Philippe Lefort and Vice Minister of Science and ICT for R&D Policy Yong Hong-taek (left) visited Institut Pasteur Korea in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, on Thursday. At center is the institute’s CEO Ryu Wang-shick.

IPK reviewed more than 1,500 medicines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and narrowed them down to dozens. Then, the institute is conducting clinical trials on two of them, ciclesonide and niclosamide.

“Reviewing authorized drugs to pick drug candidates for the Covid-19 treatment could shorten the time for the development of a new drug to six months,” said IPK CEO Ryu Wang-shick in a meeting with Lefort. “If the two countries cooperate to readjust resources and work together, it will be possible to reduce the risk of new drug development failure.”

In response, Lefort said IPK’s study significantly contributed to the findings of new drug candidates such as niclosamide and ciclesonide. “I thank the research institute for its effort, and it will be a symbol of bilateral cooperation.”

He went on to say that Korea showed an excellent response to Covid-19.

“The French government is interested in the Korean model. Korea will be the leader in diagnosing and treating Covid-19,” he added.

Korea established Institut Pasteur Korea in 2004 to upgrade the nation’s ability to develop new medicines and manage research and development efforts by attracting top-class international research bodies. It is equipped with superfast, mega-capacity screening system to develop new drugs, and has formed a global network with 32 Pasteur institutions in 25 countries to fight against infectious diseases.

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