Shionogi has commenced a Phase I trial in Japan to investigate S-892216 for the treatment of Covid-19.

The firm successfully administered first dose of S-892216, with no safety concerns observed.

As part of the Phase I trial, Shionogi will assess the pharmacokinetics, safety, and tolerability of S-892216 in healthy adults.

S-892216, which is currently being developed as the second antiviral to treat Covid -19, is a 3CL protease inhibitor discovered by Shionogi.

Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) has supported the research and development of S-892216 through a grant.

In a statement, Shionogi said: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the emergence of new variants has often signalled the onset of a new wave of infection worldwide.

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“While the rate of severe cases of Covid-19 leading to hospitalisation has decreased due to vaccination programmes, natural immunity and possibly less virulent variants, Covid-19 remains an ongoing health concern and future waves of infection are likely. Therefore, the development of additional antiviral drugs is needed.”

Furthermore, Shionogi continues to undertake its global development programme for the Covid-19 oral antiviral ensitrelvir, which is called Xocova 125mg tablet in Japan.

Ensitrelvir is an oral drug to treat Covid-19 and is currently approved under the emergency regulatory approval system in Japan.

The 3CL protease inhibitor is developed jointly by Hokkaido University and Shionogi.