Our Response to the Novel Coronavirus Infection

June 12th, 2020


In accordance with its mission as a human healthcare company, Eisai is conducting activities in response to the novel coronavirus infection such as support of the development of novel coronavirus remedies, the ensuring of stable supply of medicines, and the support of aid efforts being conducted in various different countries.


1 Contribution to Development of Remedies

  • 1)
    Regarding the TLR4 (Toll-Like Receptor 4) inhibitor eritoran (E5564), created and developed internally as a sepsis treatment, Eisai is participating in the international network REMAP-CAP-COVID (Randomized, Embedded, Multi-factorial, Adaptive Platform-Community Acquired Pneumonia COVID) which aims for novel coronavirus medicine development through drug repurposing, and is to begin an international collaborative clinical trial in June 2020 which is designated for confirmed novel coronavirus patients who are hospitalized and are in a progressing disease state. It is hoped that through suppressing the most upstream TLR4 activity which controls production of multiple cytokines, the cytokine storm in patients can be suppressed and pneumonia can thus be prevented from becoming severe.
  • 2)
    Eisai is participating in a consortium of life science companies entitled “COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator”, initiated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and formed with collaboration from Wellcome and MasterCard. This consortium aims for the fast delivery of potentially relevant research results relating to vaccines, medicines, and diagnosis techniques to people affected by COVID-19 across the world. Eisai has provided its unique collection of about 2,600 natural product compounds to the Scripps Institute for constructing a compound library for the development of treatments. Eisai is planning to provide its new vaccine adjuvant (E6020) for boosting antibody production.
  • 3)
    Gimsilumab, the anti-GM-CSF antibody which Eisai has licensed to Roivant, is assumed to inhibit activity of GM-CSF that is thought to act on immune pathology which is caused by the novel coronavirus. Eisai is supporting and has provided medicine supply of Gimsilumab for a placebo-controlled, double-blind study conducted by Roivant in the U.S. on acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by the novel coronavirus.
  • 4)
    Eisai supplied active pharmaceutical ingredients to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in response to a request “for the provision of active pharmaceutical ingredients applicable for screening of remedies for the novel coronavirus” issued on Febuary 7th, 2020 through the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare towards the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Japan and the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.
  • 5)
    Eisai is conducting efforts for realizing new remedies that apply its assets and technologies, through collaborations with academia and external organizations.

2 Stable supply of medicines:

As a policy, Eisai maintains necessary stocks for the stable supply of medicines in addition to the stable production of medicines. Eisai is sufficiently maintaining material-, active pharmaceutical ingredient-, and product-supplies of major products, and is upholding the structure needed for continued stable supply of medicines at all nine of its medicine production sites around the world. Furthermore, Eisai is committed to continue close monitoring of circumstances and taking any necessary precautions.


3 Support of response efforts to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection in different countries:  

In Japan, Eisai is providing supplies such as its own products to patient organizations, municipalities, and non-profit organizations for the impaired.

In the United States, through its American subsidiary, Eisai has provided over 1 million USD (approximately 107 million JPY) in funding to healthcare institutions and non-profit patient organizations that have distinct COVID-19 needs and a means to rapidly turn the contributions into patient assistance. In addition Eisai has donated its current supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE, masks, goggles, and hazmat suits) to local healthcare providers, with all U.S. sites working to additionally identify, collect, and donate PPEs to healthcare workers in their immediate geographies.

In Europe, through its EMEA subsidiary, Eisai has provided 945 thousand euros (approximately 111 million JPY) in funding to professional organizations targeting COVID-19 such as WHO, as well as to support healthcare providers and vulnerable COVID-19 communities in the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Portugal, and the Slovak Republic.


In China, Eisai has donated 1 million yuan (approximately 15 million JPY) to the Wuhan Charity Federation NPO and provided local healthcare providers with medicines and medical relief supplies through its Chinese subsidiary.

In Asian countries and other countries outside of China, Eisai has donated 11.8 million rupees (approximately 17 million JPY) to federal emergency funding in India, and will provide funding and supplies to support organizations such as community chests in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Mexico.


In African countries, Eisai has committed the equivalent of 1 million USD in aid over the next 1 year in order to support the controlling of the spread of the novel coronavirus infection along with prevention of delays of elimination activities for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). As part of this support, in cooperation with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Eisai has now begun provision of Personal Protection Equipment (masks, goggles, face shields, etc.) to core hospitals in Africa for research of and countermeasures against infectious diseases. In addition, Eisai will support Amref Health Africa for the development and popularization of its mobile health platform LEAP for healthcare workers in sub-Saharan countries.


4 Efforts for Prevention of Spread of Infection

Eisai is taking all possible actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in operations at all of its facilities. Global facilities are engaged in essential prevention efforts in cooperation with the relevant local authorities.
In Japan, the state of emergency has been lifted in all prefectures as of May 25th, 2020, but with consideration for the safety of employees, Eisai will continue to encourage a flexible workstyle (working-from-home, Skype/telephone meetings, off-peak commuting, etc.) with strong consideration for post-COVID-19 society.


  • 1)

    External work/business trips/events/etc.

    • Overseas business trips will continue to be prohibited throughout the world.
    • All internal and external meetings will be held with adjustments to allow for necessary social distancing through methods such as telephone and Skype. Additionally, Eisai employees are prohibited in principle to participate in external seminars and other external events.
    • Eisai events conducted for external partners are to be conducted via internet or rescheduled/cancelled. Face-to-face meetings are to be refrained from in principle. Co-sponsored events are also to be rescheduled or cancelled.
  • 2)
    Visiting medical facilities 
    • Visits to medical facilities are prohibited in principle. In the case of visiting based on a request from medical professionals, Eisai employees are absolutely required to wear a mask and practice infection spread prevention.
  • 3)

    Policies for Protecting Patients 

    • Visitors to Eisai facilities are required to measure body temperature upon arrival, and must refrain from entering in the case of fever or otherwise malaise or difficulty breathing. Entrants to Eisai facilities are asked to wash hands thoroughly, disinfect hands with alcohol, and wear a mask.
    • Eisai employees are strongly encouraged to work from home as work allows.
    • Eisai employees who commute via public transit are to commute during off-peak hours.
    • Eisai employees residing with someone who has an ongoing fever are to refrain from coming to work.
    • Any Eisai employees who have had interaction with those infected by COVID-19 or those in close contact to COVID-19 are to refrain from going outside and from coming to work.
    • Eisai employees are to absolutely measure body temperature before coming to work, and are to refrain from coming to work in the case of fever or otherwise malaise or difficulty breathing.
    • Eisai employees are required to wash hands thoroughly, disinfect hands with alcohol, and wear a mask upon arriving at and leaving from work.