The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) opened the Xenotransplantation Bio-resources Building of the Korea National Primate Research Center at the Ochang Campus. The Vice Minister of Education, Science and Technology Chang-Kyung Kim was in attendance as the guest of honor, along with attendees from North Chung-cheong Province and KRIBB on May 16, 2012.
The Xenotransplantation Bio-resources Building has a total floor space of 6,241m2, consisting of 2 above-ground levels and 3 basement levels, cost ￦16.9 billion(donated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology), and took 3 years to build. The Xenotransplantation Bio-resources Building will specialize in mini-pigs, a next-generation laboratory animal, and is tasked to support and evaluate the safety and effectiveness of cutting-edge biotechnology products — a fusion of biotechnology (BT), nanotechnology (NT), and information technology (IT). The new building will also support projects such as xeno-transplantation research through the combined efforts of industrial, academic, and research institutes, along with the existing resources of the Korea National Primate Research Center. It is the world’s first research center with the infrastructure required for both primate and mini-pig research.
Meanwhile, at the Ochang Campus of KRIBB, there has been ongoing research and infrastructure construction, starting with the Korea National Primate Research Center in 2005, the Bio-Evaluation Center 2007, and the Bio-Therapeutics Research Building in 2009 for regenerative medical and biomedical research and development. The Biotechnology Process Engineering Center for biomaterials production process development and aiding the commercialization of the coordinated efforts of the industry, academy, and research is currently under construction and due for completion in 2013.
KRIBB President Dr. Hyouk Joung envisions that the coordinated efforts and cooperation of the Korea National Primate Center, Bio-Evaluation Center, Bio-Therapeutics Research Building, and the Xenotransplantation Bio-resources Building, all within the Ochang Campus, will become a firm foothold for advancing Korea’s scientific capabilities in the fields of biomedicine, bio-organs, and regenerative medicine. He also envisions that they will interconnect the Osong Bio-Health Technopolis and Daedeok Valley, thereby becoming the main axis of the central bio-belt.
Director Kyu-Tae Chang of the Korea National Primate Research Center has stated, “It is my hope that upon completion of theXenotransplantation Bio-resources Building, we will build the necessary infrastructure for pre-human testing of bio-organs and regenerative medicine; thereby making cutting-edge biotechnologies, such as xeno-transplantation and stem cell research, more accessible to the public at an earlier date, and creating a strong foothold for Korea to transform into a major 21st century biotechnology player.”