Shionogi’s experimental COVID-19 treatment Xocova won emergency approval in Japan, becoming the third oral treatment available in the country and the first to be developed locally.

Japan’s health ministry authorized the emergency use of the therapy for COVID-19 patients 12 years old and older after a panel of experts recommended the treatment, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters at a briefing Tuesday. In September, Shionogi said patients given a low dose of Xocova saw their symptoms resolve 24 hours faster than those given a placebo in the late-stage study.

"Unlike oral drugs that have been approved so far, Xocova can be used among people with mild to moderate symptoms without risk factors,” said Kato. "I expect it to contribute to fight against the coronavirus.”