An experimental treatment from Shionogi & Co. Ltd. has shown rapid clearance of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to new data, the Japanese drug maker said on April 24.

Drugmaker Shionogi applied for approval to make and sell the company’s oral COVID-19 treatment in Japan, the firm said on February 25.

As Merck & Co. and Pfizer Inc. prepare to report clinical trial results for experimental Covid-19 antiviral pills, rivals are lining up with what they hope will prove to be more potent and convenient oral treatments of their own.