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[2017-08-10] KDDF hosts an event to provide an opinion-sharing opportunity regarding 10.25.2017

KDDF hosts an event to provide an opinion-sharing opportunity regarding

‘The latest trends in development of immuno-oncology therapy’

-‘Joint R&D Program Workshop’ held for the joint R&D of immuno-oncology treatments



Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) (headed by Hyunsang Mook, hereafter KDDF) announced that they had successfully hosted the ‘Joint R&D Program Workshop’ at 2pm on the 8th of August (Tue), at Grand Intercontinental Seoul Parnas. The workshop was held under the topic of ‘The latest trends in development of immuno-oncology therapy’ and was attended by 400 people who actively work in the field of novel drug development.


The workshop was held as part of the Joint R&D Program, currently ongoing with MSD (Merck, Sharp & Dohme/Merck & Co., Inc. for USA) for immuno-oncology therapies. The workshop was used to enhance the researchers’ understanding of the joint research and its target areas.


The workshop was especially valuable, as the latest research trends in the development of immune-oncology treatments were presented and discussed. This allowed the Korean researchers to gain a 5-year perspective on the direction of their researches for immuno-oncology treatments.


During the opening speech, Hyunsang Mook, the head of KDDF said, “Anticancer therapies were extremely important innovations that completely changed the way of treating cancer. We kindly ask for your active support in the Joint R&D Program currently ongoing with MSD, the leading company in the area of immune-oncology. We are hoping that through this meeting, we will achieve not only progress in our novel drug development, but also a new insight into the direction of research and further opportunity to collaborate with MSD.” 


On that day, the following topics were presented in order; ▶ (Presentation 1) ‘The current perspectives on CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) T cell therapy’ by Joonho Jeong from Seoul National University ▶(Presentation 2) ‘New next generation of immune checkpoint inhibitors beyond PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies’ by Inhak Choi from Inje University ▶(Presentation 3) ‘Current status & implication for MSD immuno-oncology collaborative clinical development’ by Yeoungmin Kim, Director of MSD ▶(Presentation 4) ‘Introduction to KDDF and Joint R&D Program’ by Taeuk Kim, the Chief Business Officer of KDDF.


During the panel discussion, which was chaired by Taeuk Kim, the Chief Business Officer of KDDF, an active discussion was held around topics of the groundbreaking ‘CAR-T’ treatments. The panel examined the direction of the future development of these agents, which enabled a 90% complete remission rate of cancer cells. Also, detailed cases were presented regarding the idea of Molecular Shields as a new generation of immuno-oncology medication, which may provide a solution to increasing patient response and overcoming resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Furthermore, Heonwoo Shin, a senior executive of MSD, provided the attendees with answers to their questions regarding MSD’s ‘Combination strategy’ and the details of the standards used to select the topics for joint research. By providing some examples, he added that, “The most important aspect at this point, where more than 500 combination studies are already ongoing; is that the task differentiates itself from the other tasks by providing an expected clinical efficacy and a MOA to reinforce it with.”


KDDF had disclosed their Request For Proposal (RFP) in the area of immuno-oncology agents from lead to phase II stage of clinical trial. They have also announced that they will be receiving task proposals from private companies, universities (including medical institutions), government-funded research institutes, as well as public research institutes within Korea.


The application may be submitted between 09/18 (Mon) ~ 09/22 (Fri). Any investigators who wish to apply for the program may submit the application form and the relevant documents, after confirming the details on the Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) website (