Institut Pasteur Korea, under the leadership of Director Byung-kwon Lim, has unveiled the Global Infectious Disease Research Resource Bank, a specialized entity for the collection and distribution of infectious disease samples.
This human-derived Specimen Resource Bank is poised to legally procure and swiftly disseminate samples from both domestic and international infectious disease patients. Its objective aligns with advancing basic research, healthcare industry needs, and ensuring swift reactions to emergent infectious disease strains, especially in the post-COVID-19 landscape. Officially licensed on July 24, 2023, the inception and sanctioning of this institution materialized through the “Virus Research Resource Center Support” segment of the “Bio and Medical Technology Development Project,” a venture backed by the Ministry of Science and ICT.
Focused on a diverse range of infectious ailments, the Specimen Resource Bank plans to amass samples from areas like respiratory, vector-borne, zoonotic, sexually transmitted, and waterborne diseases. Emphasizing a bespoke approach, the bank will prioritize collecting samples that exhibit high demand.
Sources for these samples will predominantly include blood (both plasma and serum) and bodily fluids (like urine, sputum, and bronchial lavage fluid) from infectious disease patients. The bank is also set to receive ‘post-test residual specimens’ from medical entities. Its international sampling will stem from collaborations and agreements with notable bodies like the Pasteur Network, International Biological Resources Bank, global blood centers, and medical institutions.
To uphold donor rights and guarantee equitable resource distribution to sectors like industry, academia, and research, the bank will implement stringent prerequisites for potential buyers. These will encompass a thorough resource utilization research plan and an institutional committee’s endorsement. The bank’s internal review will assess aspects like scientific validity, public interest, resource usage appropriateness, and data protection measures before sanctioning any sales. A nominal fee structure will also be in place for services like resource collection, preservation, analysis, and sales.
Director Lim Byung-kwon elucidated, “This Global Infectious Disease Research Resource Bank stands as a pioneer in Korea, being the sole infectious disease specimen resource bank. Our aim is to buttress Korea’s biotech sector, facilitating proactive measures against imported infectious diseases and forging a strategic vantage point for overseas industrial outreach through the acquisition and provisioning of international infectious disease samples.”
A product of the Korea-France scientific and technological alliance, Institut Pasteur Korea is a research institution emphasizing infectious diseases. It commenced operations in Pangyo Techno Valley, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do in April 2004, following a pact between France’s Institut Pasteur and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), supported by the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT.
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