Founded in 1878 and based in Osaka, Japan, Shionogi is a drug-discovery-based pharmaceutical company with more than 5,500 employees and operations around the globe, including offices in the US, UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Taiwan, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Shionogi’s core therapeutic areas of focus are pain/central nervous system disease and infectious diseases. The company also maintains a focus on ‘frontier’ therapeutic areas, including cancer and allergy immunotherapies, obesity, and geriatric metabolic diseases.
Leader in antibacterials
Antibiotic discovery has long been key to Shionogi’s success, and antibiotics have featured heavily in the company’s portfolio over the years. The company has launched more than a dozen antibacterials, including five drugs discovered by Shionogi. These include two oxacephem-class antibiotics that were launched in the 1980s. Even today, these drugs remain on the market without generic competition thanks to a difficult chemical synthesis mastered by Shionogi and the drugs’ continued utility in the treatment of certain Gram-negative bacterial infections.
Success in antivirals
Shionogi’s antiviral platform has also enjoyed considerable success. The best-in-class HIV integrase inhibitor Tivicay (dolutegravir) was launched in 2013 and reached nearly $2 billion in global sales in 2017 (dolutegravir is also part of the triple-combination HIV therapy Triumeq).
Shionogi’s promising new flu drug Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) is very well received. This first-in-class drug prevents the expression of proteins required for flu to proliferate, and sharply reduces viral load. Xofluza has shown potent activity against both type A and type B seasonal influenza, as well as avian flu virus strains including H5N1 and H7N9.
According to nature.com