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Sanofi, Pasteur Korea Launch Joint Research for New Hepatitis B Drugs
�� �� Sanofi S.A., the world's fourth-largest pharmaceutical company, and its South Korean research institute, Institute Pasteur Korea (IPK), will launch a joint project to develop new drugs for chronic Hepatitis B infections, the science ministry said Tuesday.

Under an agreement, to be signed Wednesday, Sanofi will provide its collection of compounds "proven to generate high quality starting points to research programs" and the IPK will test the compounds using its advanced cell-based high-throughput screening technology, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Despite the availability of medicines and vaccines for the Hepatitis B virus, about 5 percent of the global population continue to suffer chronically from the virus, Sanofi said in a press release.

"Without any therapeutic options to prevent or cure Hepatitis B virus infections, these patients are at a very high risk of developing liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma," it said.

"As Chronic Hepatitis B is one of the major Asian diseases with high prevalence, the medical needs in development of its treatment is very high; therefore, this research collaboration has significant meaning to Sanofi Asia-Pacific R&D," Lee Sung-joo, the head of Sanofi's Korea research and development unit, was quoted as saying.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (Feb. 5, 2013)

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