Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday the government would consider granting conditional early approval for the oral Covid-19 treatment being developed by Shionogi & Co Ltd.
Kishida told a televised parliamentary committee meeting that provided the drug's safety and efficacy are confirmed by clinical trials "we would like to review it promptly".
Shionogi separately said that new results from an ongoing clinical trial of the drug, known as S-217622, showed "significant difference" in antiviral effect compared to a placebo, as well as symptom improvement.
Chief executive Isao Teshirogi told reporters that the company could file for early approval of the drug as soon as next week, and that it could deliver 1 million doses by the end of March.
The Mainichi newspaper reported earlier that Japan is considering allowing Shionogi to start selling the antiviral oral tablets as early as this spring after giving the pharmaceutical company special permission to skip the final stage of the clinical trial.
Shionogi's shares rose 3% in Tokyo trading on Monday, versus a 0.7% drop in the broader market.
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