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TOKYO: 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".

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.

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Shionogi said on Jan. 17 it started a Phase III trial in Japan of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate S-268019 that will compare its results to that of an approved vaccine.

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