International cooperation is critical to fighting COVID-19. Innovative screening technology at Institut Pasteur Korea has identified strong COVID-19 drug candidates. Pasteurians of the Republic of Korea and Senegal have launched clinical trials to test the therapeutic efficacy of COVID-19 drug candidates. This cross-border scientific cooperation between pre-clinical research organizations, clinical research hospitals, and pharmaceutical partners in each country was facilitated by the Institut Pasteur International Network (IPIN, based in France) with support of Korean, Senegalese and French government authorities. Leveraging the IPIN organization, established since over 130 years, illustrates how established grass-roots scientific research networks can provide a robust framework fostering effective international cooperation amidst the challenging complexities of a global health crisis.