Apr.14, 2020

Shionogi Announces Commitment to Fight COVID-19

Osaka, Japan, April 14, 2020 - The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a global threat, and prompt responses are needed to prevent the spread of infection and develop therapeutics and vaccines. In Japan, the central and local governments are taking measures to prevent the spread of infection under the declaration of an emergency announced on April 7, 2020. Under these circumstances, Shionogi & Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Isao Teshirogi, Ph.D., hereafter: “Shionogi”) continues intensive efforts to deliver our pharmaceutical products to patients in need in a reliable and stable manner. As a pharmaceutical company with a major focus on infectious diseases, we are also working with public institutions, academia and partner companies, to address COVID-19 and have engaged in the following.

1. Commitment to the discovery of novel therapeutic drugs

We have initiated a collaborative research effort to identify drugs active against COVID-19 with the Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control. We are still in the early stages of this effort, but we have already identified a number of promising lead compounds from our internal in vitro studies. This is one of the top priority projects for Shionogi. We are accelerating our drug discovery efforts with the aim of starting clinical trials in FY2020, and we are committed to the pursuit of effective compounds given the possibility of a long-lasting outbreak and pandemic.

2. Commitment to vaccine discovery

UMN Pharma Inc., a group company of Shionogi, is pursuing the discovery and development of a recombinant protein vaccine for COVID-19 in a project supported by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) [Representative of Research and Development: Dr. Hideki Hasegawa, Director of Influenza Virus Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases], which began in March, 2020.

3. Commitment to offer COVID-19 antibody test kit

Regarding the COVID-19 Antibody Test Kit1 that was the subject of a public announcement on March 17, 2020, Shionogi has just entered into an agreement with Micro Blood Science Inc., the licensor of the kit. Currently we are undertaking performance testing to demonstrate its suitability for practical use in Japan, and are collecting clinical data for regulatory approval. In addition, Shionogi plans to initiate further clinical research to add to the body of evidence for the kit. We are focused on confirming its utility as an in vitro diagnostic agent and using it to contribute to medical care as soon as possible.

Shionogi is committed to “protecting people from the threat of infectious diseases” as our key focus. We are not limiting ourselves to the research and development of therapeutic medications, but are also focused on the total care of infectious disease through awareness building, prevention and diagnosis. Shionogi will continue to strive to fulfill its social responsibility and to contribute to recovering the safety and security of society by bringing forward new tools and technologies for the early diagnosis and subsequent treatment for COVID-19 to support early containment of the pandemic. We will inform all stakeholders as soon as the status of our efforts is updated.
Shionogi has long considered it essential to disseminate accurate knowledge with respect to infectious disease and methods of protection against infection, aiming to promote appropriate use of anti-infective medicines. Thus, we offer information on countermeasures against infection through a proactive commitment to awareness building for the general public, in addition to providing information to medical professionals*.

* Infectious Disease Control Guide (Only In Japanese)

“Kodomo Kansensho Navi” (information on pediatric infectious disease) : http://www.shionogi.co.jp/infection_navi/

Information to address the risk of infectious disease spread during international events (including information of COVID-19) : http://www.shionogi.co.jp/msg_navi/

To refer to our “Infection Control Guidelines for Nurseries”, see : http://www.shionogi.co.jp/nursery/

In addition, there has been a considerable amount of valuable information on COVID-19 posted on other websites. The following official websites are recommended for your reference:

Information on the impact of the novel coronavirus on daily life:

・ Prime Minister’s Office of Japan: Useful Information on the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) http://japan.kantei.go.jp/ongoingtopics/coronavirus_info_e.html

Information related to disease caused by the novel coronavirus:

・ Cabinet Secretariat: The Novel Coronavirus Infection Control: (only in Japanese) https://corona.go.jp/

・ MHLW: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare : About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/newpage_00032.html

・ CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fsummary.html

・ WHO: World Health Organization : Coronavirus https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on expectations in light of the information currently available, assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. Risks and uncertainties include general domestic and international economic conditions such as general industry and market conditions, and changes of interest rate and currency exchange rate. These risks and uncertainties particularly apply with respect to product-related forward-looking statements. Product risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, completion and discontinuation of clinical trials; obtaining regulatory approvals; claims and concerns about product safety and efficacy; technological advances; adverse outcomes of important litigation; domestic and foreign healthcare reforms and changes of laws and regulations. Also for existing products, there are manufacturing and marketing risks, which include, but are not limited to, inability to build production capacity to meet demand, unavailability of raw materials and entry of competitive products. The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


1. Press release on March 17, 2020

Business Partnership with Micro Blood Science Inc. for an IgG/IgM Antibody-test Kit for COVID-19