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COVID-19 pill for at-home treatment in trials by Japan's Shionogi

Drug poised to compete with candidates from Roche-owned Chugai and Merck

Commuters in Tokyo: At-home treatments for COVID-19 hold the potential to ease the strain on hospitals. (Photo by Kei Higuchi)

OSAKA -- Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi has begun a Phase 1 trial of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 patients with light symptoms, joining peers worldwide in seeking a therapy to treat infected people at home.

Shionogi's pill would require just one oral dose daily for several days, while similar drugs in development in Japan would need to be taken at least twice daily, the company said Monday.

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