COVID-19 Updates

Our Efforts for COVID-19

With the rapid spread of COVID-19 globally, we understand the significant and long-lasting impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on individuals and communities worldwide.

Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Japan, the government has issued a state of emergency. As the situation evolves, SMC remains operational and will continue to adapt, while closely monitoring developments and guidance from our local government and global health authorities.
Our goal has always been to assist the development of life saving medicines, and we remain committed to providing the best possible support to the clients we serve, while adjusting our operations as necessary to protect the health and safety of our employees. With respect to the supply of services, there are currently no significant problems as we have been able to maintain adequate materials and provided services, by taking cooperation with outsourcing companies and suppliers taking into account the continuation of business and the stable supply of services.

At SMC, we are currently working to address several key areas in response to the outbreak.


Protecting our employees

The health and safety of our staff, clients and animals is always a priority. Under guidance from both local and global authorities, SMC is implementing remote-work policies were possible, while maintaining essential employees on site as needed.
Increased health and safety procedures have been introduced across all sites to protect essential staff.

Business continuity

Through these unprecedented times, SMC continues to support the development of life saving drugs. We are in the process of implementing business continuity plans, and initiating new studies while closely monitoring the effect of COVID-19 on timelines and deliverables.
We are making full use of web tools to enable remote work, building an environment in which we can communicate closely with our employees and clients to continue providing the same quality services as always.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are looking for support, seeking CRO to step into an ongoing project, or are just running low on capacity during these times. SMC is running as usual and ready to do all we can.

We are continuously monitoring the situation to keep our clients updated as needed.



Latest updates

As a non-clinical CRO, we are looking for ways to contribute to the global effort against the spread of COVID-19.
We will continue to post updated information about the novel coronavirus in relation to our services.


Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Final Report / The New England Journal of Medicine. 2020. Oct 8

This paper presents the results from the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) for the efficacy of remdesivir against COVID-19. The data suggests that remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in hospitalized patients who had evidence of lower respiratory tract infection.
Remdesivir has recently been approved by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19.
Related: Lung


COVID-19 and the liver-related deaths to come/Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2020 Jun 11
Related: Liver

It has been reported that various metabolic diseases are a factor in COVID-19 severity, and an increased risk for those with non-alcoholic liver disease (NASH/NAFLD) has also been reported. [Pawlotsky, J., Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol,2020]

Since there are currently no approved medications for MASLD/MASH, new drug candidates are being developed. However, with the reported critical risk after COVID-19 infection, the development of new drugs is now more urgent than ever.
For the development of new medicines, choosing an ideal model at the non-clinical stage makes a smooth progression to clinical trials possible.

Therefore, I would like to briefly introduce our proprietary STAMTM mouse model for MASLD/MASH and its advantages, outlined below.

  • Reproduces the same disease progression as seen in human MASLD/MASH patients, from steatosis to inflammation, fibrosis, and HCC.
  • Exhibits symptoms of high blood glucose, hyperlipidemia and type 2 diabetes.
  • The NAFLD activity score, a clinical endpoint, and histological analysis of fibrosis are standard analysis items
  • 15 compounds tested in the model are in Phase 2 clinical trials and up

For those currently developing drugs targeting liver diseases like cirrhosis and HCC, or those considering expanding the indications for existing drugs, why not consider the STAMTM model for your non-clinical research?


The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak/Journal of Autoimmunity. 2020 Feb 26
Clinical pathology of critical patient with novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19)/Preprints. 2020 Mar 9
Related: Lung

SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent continued inflammation have induced the features shown in below in COVID-19 patients. (Rothan et al., J Autoimmun., 2020; Weiren et al., Preprint, 2020 ).
Similar features have been reported in patients with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and a mouse model of Bleomycin (BLM)-induced IPF (Li et al., Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol., 2008; Le et al., J Immunol., 2014 ).

At SMC, we have a broad experience with our BLM-IPF model for pulmonary fibrosis, and can utilize our expertise in analysis to assess the above features through qPCR, ELISA and histopathology.

It has been reported that that IPF can be triggered by viral-induced lung damage, so there is a growing need for the development of fibrosis therapeutics.
If you are researching the prevention and treatment of fibrosis, please consider our IPF model.


COVID-19: A New Virus, but a Familiar Receptor and Cytokine Release Syndrome/ Immunity. 2020 May 19

This publication associates “IL-6 Amplifier (IL-6 Amp)”, which is derived from positive feedback through increased NF-κB due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, as one of the causes of COVID-19 aggravation.
Related: Lung


The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Perspective on Regulation of interleukin-6 signaling in COVID-19-related Systemic Inflammatory Response/ J Immunother Cancer. 2020. May 7

A review of the regulatory mechanism of cytokines expressed in cytokine storm and an introduction to drug candidates for each cytokine. IL-6 is the suggested to be the most interesting target for treatment COVID-19 in this article.
Related: Lung


Chest CT manifestations of new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a pictorial review. / Eur Radiol. 2020 Mar 19.
Lung fibrosis observed in COVID-19 patients via CT

Currently, there is an urgent need to develop diagnostic and therapeutic methods to curb the global spread of COVID-19.
It has been suggested that COVID-19 may cause not only pneumonia, but also cause damage to other organs such as the liver, kidney and intestines. Recent reports have focused on lung fibrosis.

COVID-19 is a virus belonging to the beta-coronavirus class, similar to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). It has been reported that fibrosis could begin to be observed several weeks after infection during the SARS epidemic. In subsequent follow-up studies, more than 20% of SARS survivors at one year later had pulmonary fibrosis, indicating that pulmonary fibrosis is a long-term problem [David S. Hui et al., Chest., 2005; Lixin Xie et al., Respir Res., 2005]. In COVID-19 patients, it was reported that fibrosis symptoms were observed in the analysis using CT, and it is speculated that the issue of fibrosis will emerge in the future [Zheng Ye., European Radiology, 2020].

At SMC, we offer an Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) model as a fibrosis model of the lung, with which we have a lots of testing experience.
Since it has been reported that IPF is caused by lung damage due to viral infection, it is speculated that the demand for the development of lung fibrosis therapies will increase after the COVID-19 epidemic subsides.
If you are researching the prevention and treatment of fibrosis by COVID-19, please consider our IPF model.

Liver injury during highly pathogenic human coronavirus infections. / Liver Int. 2020 Mar 14
COVID-19 patients in critical condition reported to have high incidence of liver damage. Hepatocytes and cholangiocytes express ACE2, required for SARS-CoV-2 cell entry
The origin, transmission and clinical therapies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak - an update on the status. / Mil Med Res.   2020 Mar 13
Underlying conditions such as diabetes, COPD and hypertension believed to be risk factors for aggravation of COVID-19. ARDS, kidney damage and liver damage reported as a complication of COVID-19.
Related:Diabetes, Liver
The 1-year impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome on pulmonary function, exercise capacity, and quality of life in a cohort of survivors. / Chest. 2005 Oct
A publication regarding Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) caused by SARS-CoV which spread in 2003. SARS-CoV, from the same class of beta-coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), reportedly shows lung fibrosis even one year after original infection.


New Challenges, Explore New Ways!

Just an Action responsibly will lead us to the best way.
SMC is the Global Specialty CRO focuses on Non-clinical study.