History and values

Established in Japan over 145 years ago, we have a history of drug discovery and scientific rigour in addressing some of the toughest challenges in healthcare.

Shionogi B.V. (known as “Shionogi Europe”) has been the European operation of the global company for over a decade. And with our track record of taking on the areas of greatest clinical need, we are well placed to help societies across Europe address today’s health challenges.

Our history

Since 1878, we have been harnessing the full potential of science to treat challenging human diseases. Our discoveries have led to new treatment options that have improved the lives of patients worldwide. Throughout our history, we have remained true to our founding principle — to supply the best possible medicines to protect the health and well-being of the patients we serve.

Remaining true to our founding principle: To supply the best possible medicines to protect the health and well-being of the patients we serve

Our Journey



The founder, Gisaburo Shiono, learned wholesale trade under the guidance of Kichibei, his father, who ran a drug wholesale business. On March 17, 1878—Gisaburo’s 24th birthday—he launched his own drug wholesaler, Shiono Gisaburo Shoten, in Osaka. This was the beginning of the present-day Shionogi & Co., Ltd.


Acquiring Western Medicines

Gisaburo established relationships with traders fluent in English, enabling him to import Western medicines directly and offer them at a reasonable price.


Construction of First Manufacturing Plant

We launched our pharmaceutical division and drug manufacturing business by opening our first manufacturing plant in Osaka.

Founder Gisaburo Shiono,Sr
Founder Gisaburo Shiono,Sr
The surroundings of the current headquarters at that time
The surroundings of the current headquarters at that time

Early 1910s

First Steps in Product Development & Fighting Infectious Disease

We launched our first in-house drug, an anti-indigestion medication, developed our first cardiac drug and began importing another medication shortly after its development overseas to help fight syphilis in Japan.


Global Contributions and First Partnerships

Beginning with our own research and development in infectious disease, we introduced a sulfonamide antibiotic in 1959 and soon out-licensed it to Roche. The antibiotic circulated worldwide, becoming an instrumental tool in the fight against infectious diseases. This period also marked the beginning of our collaboration with other global pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly and Company.


Growth and Specialisation

In 1982, we successfully discovered and launched the world’s first oxacephem antibiotic. This product, alongside others in the space, established our reputation as specialists in antibiotics. Our expansion continued in 1983 with the construction of our Kanegasaki Plant, one of our key production factories. In 1988, our Institute for Medical Science was founded, and we began researching emerging diseases such as, HIV, and antiviral medicines.



United States Expansion

We established Shionogi USA, Inc. (now Shionogi Inc.) and formed a joint venture with the UK-based GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to collaborate on research and development, focusing on HIV integrase inhibitors.


Drug Discovery and Continued Growth

Along with additional acquisitions, we introduced several notable medications, including treatments for HIV and influenza.


Our European Journey Begins

In 2012, Shionogi Europe was established in London. A year later, we established affiliates in Italy and Spain.


Continued Expansion in Europe

We registered Shionogi BV in the Netherlands in 2017 and in 2018 established our German affiliate in Berlin. By 2020, we had opened our fifth European office, this time in France.


Our New European Headquarters Opened in Amsterdam

Patients First

We are committed to putting patients first by developing innovative, high-quality medicines which address their unmet needs and improve the quality of their lives.

We are a leader in the fight against infectious diseases and have discovered a significant proportion of our development pipeline in our own labs. This includes the discovery and development of novel medicines in therapy areas such as HIV, influenza and antimicrobial resistance:

  • Globally, we have been the R&D engine of ViiV Healthcare, producing two of the most important HIV medicines of the last decade.
  • We discovered a new medicine for the treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis of influenza virus infection.
  • We have developed an antibiotic that targets multidrug resistant Gram-negative bacteria, which is a major global public health concern.

We are determined to build on our successes and find innovative solutions for patients across Europe. From playing our part in solving the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, to addressing the unmet clinical needs caused by serious fungal infections, we are continuing to shape the future of healthcare.

We are working with like-minded partners to achieve our goals and expand our capabilities. For example, we acquired Qpex Biopharma, Inc. so that we can accelerate our efforts to develop new antibiotic treatments to address antimicrobial resistance, while we also have a strategic collaboration with F2G Ltd to develop solutions for fungal infections.

Our Unique DNA

Our people are our greatest strength and our culture is distinct. We have a unique DNA combining Japanese scientific heritage with European entrepreneurial energy.

We are guided by our global heritage, vision and values, whilst also holding dear our nine ways of working (WOWs) – unique to the European organisation – that have been woven into the fabric of our culture since we launched in 2012. Find out more about our vision, values and ways of working.

NP-EU-NP-0269 | June 2024