R&D Vision and Strategy image
At Shionogi, we believe that to grow sustainably as a drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company contributing to a more vigorous society through improved healthcare is impossible without the constant pursuit of innovation contributing to the resolution of social issues. To that end, we seek to continue creating new drugs that balance innovation with healthcare affordability, by investing appropriate sums in R&D and maintaining small molecule drug discovery as a key strength while also diversifying into nonstandard peptide drug discovery and deepening collaboration with all manner of partners including the IT industry, in order to expand into new modalities and acquire entirely new technologies. If we are to meet the needs of both our customers and society as a whole and become a source of new value in the healthcare field, we think it essential that Shionogi remain committed to innovation, particularly as it applies to R&D.

Our Wish

When we choose research areas, we always keep our Company Policy in mind - "supply the best possible medicine to protect the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve". Our wish is to discover innovative drugs to treat diseases without any method of treatment, or those with unmet medical needs.
Our wish image

Ensuring both innovation and healthcare affordability

Ensuring both innovation and healthcare affordability through small-molecule and nonstandard peptide drug discovery

With many countries now grappling with the issue of a declining birthrate and aging population, the need to balance innovation with sustainable social security has become a fundamental global issue, to the extent of being taken up by the United Nations. The public is starting to push back against the argument that high prices are warranted by the innovative nature of new drugs. In our medium-term business plan, Shionogi Growth Strategy 2020 (SGS2020), we outline a vision of “to grow sustainably as a drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company contributing to a more vigorous society through improved healthcare,” and on that premise we remain committed to supplying drugs that combine efficacy with a reasonable price.

In order to facilitate a focus on creating new drugs balancing innovation with affordable healthcare, we have maintained small molecule drug discovery as a key strength while also building on this platform to further strengthen our drug discovery capabilities by expanding into a new modality—that of medium molecule drugs including peptide-based therapies. In addition to being comparatively inexpensive in the manner of small molecule drugs, peptides rival antibody therapeutics in their target specificity (ensuring high potency with relatively few off-target side effects), while also having a molecular property profile enabling access to intracellular targets, which antibody therapeutics can struggle to reach.

Focus on in-house drug discovery

Among pharmaceutical companies, some have scanty pipelines and therefore choose to supply patients with drugs licensed in from other companies. At Shionogi, though, we take a different approach. We believe that our job—and indeed our raison d’etre—is to be of use to patients by supplying them with products discovered in our pharmaceutical research and progressed right through to the stage of regulatory approval. We accordingly are focused squarely on in-house drug discovery. Over the past 14 years, we have succeeded in bringing seven proprietary drugs to market. Whereas the original pipeline ratio at most pharmaceutical companies is said to be 20–30%, we aspire to a ratio of about 50–70%, and as at the end of March 2021, our original pipeline ratio was 71%. We take pride in this high ratio as we think it is indicative of our strength in in-house drug discovery.

Original pipeline ratio (As of March 2019)