COVID-19 pill by Japanese drug maker rapidly disarms SARS-CoV-2 virus

In a statement Japanese drug maker Shionogi & Co Ltd said, their experimental treatment for COVID-19 has shown rapid clearance of the virus that causes the disease.

The pill, S-217622, “demonstrated rapid clearance of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus”, said Shionogi in a statement, citing Phase-2b results from the Phase II/III clinical trial of the drug.

The company has global aspirations for the antiviral pill, which is now being evaluated by Japanese regulators.

The findings show that “there was no significant difference in total score of 12 COVID-19 symptoms between treatment arms” although the drug showed improvement in a composite score of five “respiratory and feverish” symptoms, said Shionogi.

The company aims to launch a global Phase III trial worldwide for the drug with U.S. government support with its CEO Isao Teshirogi saying production could reach 10 million doses a year.

Shionogi’s shares have shot up significantly on speculation about the success of the treatment; it climbed further following a news report that the U.S. government is in talks to acquire supplies of the drug.

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