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Pohang speeds up the process to create new drug development cluster

Pohang speeds up the process to create new drug development cluster

Posted June. 05, 2019 07:45,   

Updated June. 05, 2019 07:45


The North Gyeongsang provincial government and the city of Pohang are speeding up the project to create a new drug development cluster in the region. Pohang City has recently been chosen by the Ministry of Science and ICT to deliver the Cell Membrane Protein Research Center project and has secured a government subsidy of 22.9 billion won. The three-story building with one basement floor will be built in the convergence technology industrial district in Pohang in December next year. The total floor area of the building will be 6,012 square meters.

Pohang has been chosen to carry out the Cell Membrane Protein Research Center project, which is considered the core infrastructure necessary for the development of new drugs, thanks to the fourth-generation Pohang Light Source (PLS) owned by the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH). The structure of cell membrane protein, which is known to be the cause of 60 percent of modern diseases, can be determined using the PLS.

The Cell Membrane Protein Research Center, the third of its kind following the ones in Germany and the U.S., will analyze the structure of diseases with serious conditions, such as cancer, brain, cardiovascular, and rare metabolic diseases, as well as developing antibody drugs and candidate substances for new drugs.

“I’m confident that the new research center will become the core infrastructure for the development of new drugs, which will help us take the upper hand in the 1,500 trillion won global new drug market,” said Kim Ho-jin of the North Gyeongsang Provincial Government.

The research center, which will be established and operated by POSTECH, aims to develop one candidate substance for new drugs, investigate the structure of 20 diseases, register five patents, and transfer seven technologies by 2023 with the additional subsidy of 22.9 billion won from the provincial government. The city of Pohang will be in charge of the construction in order to create infrastructure and construct equipment in a fast manner.

Once the research center gets up and running, the provincial government, with the lead of the center, will cooperate with businesses to jointly develop and design new drugs and commercialize technologies.

Earlier in February, the provincial government, Pohang City, POSTECH, and POSCO signed a memorandum of understanding for the effective operation of the Cell Membrane Protein Research Center. Participating businesses will be added gradually depending on the situation.

Young-Hun Jang jang@donga.com