It is our honor to welcome you all to the 14th Seoul International
New Pharmaceuticals Forum, co-hosted by the Financial News and
Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology.
Our deep appreciation goes to Minister of Food and Drug Safety Oh, Yu Kyung
and President of the co-hosting Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology
Yi, Mi Hye for sparing precious time to attend this event. Also, we convey
our thanks to Director General of the Vaccine Innovative Technology
ALliance KoreaBaik-Lin Seong for delivering keynote speech.
The COVID-induced crisis that has long suppressed our life seems to have
almost reached the end of tunnel. When we get to restaurants, cafes, cinemas
or baseball games, we seem to get closer to the pre-pandemic life.
However, it is premature to get relaxed. We saw a drop in the number
of patients, but this should never be neglected. Medical experts warn that
the coronavirus could come back in fall or winter of this year.
Comparing to baseball, we think it is time to see a seasoned closing pitcher.
We often see that bad conclusion can lead to mess up a winning game.
As there is a famous saying in baseball “It ain't over till it’s over,” it is important
to stay vigilant until the pandemic is finally over.
But at the same time, it is necessary to strengthen efforts to prepare
for possible emergence of new infectious diseases. It’s no exaggeration
to say that people have historically fought against infectious diseases.
Historical data shows that Europe’s population nearly halved because of pest,
or black plague, during the medieval times. The Spanish flu posed a terrible
threat to the world during the end of the World War One. Even in the 21st
century, many infectious diseases such as SARS, MERS and coronavirus are
still afflicting people. In this regard, we selected the topic of this year’s forum
as “Direction and strategies for research on infectious diseases during
the post-pandemic era.”
On the occasion of the COVID-19 crisis, we acutely recognized the importance
of developing new drugs. This crisis made us realize that like the United States
and EU, a country capable of accelerating a project of developing vaccines is
truly powerful. So does medicine.
For Korea, there is a long way to go. Yet as shown in its goal for becoming
a global hub for vaccine production, its capability to produce commissioned
new drugs is outstanding. Furthermore, developing our new drugs including
vaccines will serve as a backstop for preparing for the outbreak of new
infectious diseases. We anticipate the arrival of the new K-drug era
besides K-pop and K-drama.
We truly hope this forum will serve as a guidepost for helping you prepare
for the inevitably approaching pandemic crisis in a wise manner.
We hope all of you stay healthy.
Byun, Dong Shik
The Financial News