Apr.28, 2020

Shionogi Accelerates Development of Potential COVID-19 Treatments and Vaccine

OSAKA, Japan & FLORHAM PARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– In response to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), Shionogi & Co., Ltd. (hereafter “Shionogi”), a pharmaceutical company with a major focus on infectious diseases, has joined the ranks of pharmaceutical companies across the globe and is working with public institutions, academia and partner companies in the following efforts to fight against COVID-19:

1. Commitment to the discovery of novel therapeutic drugs

Shionogi has initiated a collaborative research effort to identify drugs active against COVID-19 with the Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control. The research has identified a number of promising lead compounds from internal in vitro studies. As one of the top priorities for Shionogi, the company is accelerating drug discovery efforts with the aim of starting clinical trials later this year. Shionogi is committed to the pursuit of effective compounds given the possibility of a long-lasting outbreak and pandemic.



2. Commitment to prophylactic vaccine development

UMN Pharma Inc., a group company of Shionogi, is pursuing the discovery and development of a recombinant protein vaccine for COVID-19 utilizing its unique Baculovirus Expression Vector System technology. This project began in March 2020 and is 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]. Shionogi plans to start clinical trials in Japan within the year.

“Our key focus at Shionogi is to protect people from the threat and consequences of infectious diseases. 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,” said Akira Kato, Ph.D., president and CEO at Shionogi Inc. “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 treatment of COVID-19.”

Shionogi’s Commitment to Fighting Infectious Disease

Shionogi has a strong heritage in the field of anti-infectives and has been developing antimicrobial therapies for more than 50 years. Shionogi is proud to be one of the few large pharmaceutical companies that continues to focus on research and development in anti-infectives. The company invests the highest proportion of its pharmaceutical revenues in relevant anti-infectives R&D compared to other large pharmaceutical companies.1 The company recently launched FETROJA® (cefiderocol) in the U.S. for patients 18 years of age or older who have limited or no alternative treatment options, for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections, including pyelonephritis, caused by Gram-negative microorganisms. Cefiderocol, under the brand name FETCROJA®, is approved by the European Commission for the treatment of infections due to aerobic Gram-negative bacteria in adults 18 years or older with limited treatment options.

About Shionogi

Shionogi & Co., Ltd. is a Japanese major research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing benefits to patients based on its corporate philosophy of “supplying the best possible medicine to protect the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve.” The company currently markets products in several therapeutic areas including anti-infectives, pain, cardiovascular diseases, and gastroenterology. Our pipeline is focused on infectious disease, pain, CNS, and oncology. For more information on Shionogi & Co., Ltd., visit www.shionogi.co.jp/en. Shionogi Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Shionogi & Co., Ltd. based in N.J. For more information on Shionogi Inc., please visit www.shionogi.com.

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 Access to Medicine Foundation. Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark 2020. Retrieved from 
Corporate Communications Department
Shionogi & Co., Ltd.
Shionogi Inc. U.S. Media
Lindsay Bohlander
Director, Advocacy & PR
+1 973-307-3718
Source: Shionogi USA