Shionogi and Osaka University Establish a New Joint Research Lab on Post-COVID-19 Condition (Long COVID)

Shionogi & Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Osaka, Japan; Chief Executive Officer: Isao Teshirogi, Ph.D.; hereafter “Shionogi”) announced that Shionogi and Osaka University (Location: Suita, Osaka, President: Shojiro Nishio) have established a joint research laboratory (research lab’s name: Joint Research Laboratory for Long COVID) at the Graduate School of Medicine Faculty of Medicine, Osaka University, aiming to establish prevention methods for post-COVID-19 condition (Long COVID).

Many people infected with COVID-19 experience post-infection symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, hair loss, and decreased concentration, commonly known as “Long COVID,” which has become a significant global issue1,2,3,4. However, treatments and prevention methods for Long COVID have not yet been established. In the phase 2/3 clinical trial (SCORPIO-SR) of the COVID-19 therapeutic drug, ensitrelvir fumaric acid (marketed in Japan as Xocova®, hereafter “ensitrelvir”), it has shown the possibility to reduce the risk of persistent and new late-onset symptoms associated with Long COVID5,6,7. However, further accumulation of data is necessary to establish treatments and preventive methods.

Therefore, in order to promote collaborative research between Shionogi and Osaka University, where Shionogi offers potential therapeutic drugs that can address social issues, and Osaka University provides specialized expertise and healthcare infrastructure, we have established a new joint research chair as a base for fostering swift research advancement through industry-academia collaboration.

Furthermore, in this joint research laboratory, we will conduct clinical research to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ensitrevir for Long COVID. This clinical research is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that evaluates the suppression of Long COVID and safety of ensitrelvir once-daily, 5 days oral treatment in 2,000 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection(jRCTs051230184).

Shionogi is committed to the principle “Protecting people worldwide from the threat of infectious diseases” as our key focus, and is working on the realization of total care for infectious diseases. Shionogi is continuing to progress its extensive global development program for ensitrelvir, and will continue research and development for COVID-19 so as to be prepared for the swift provision of therapeutic drugs and vaccines as necessary depending on the situation, such as the emergence of new variants or increases in the future prevalence of, or threat from, the disease.

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