Kao shares rise on coronavirus antibody findings

TOKYO — Shares of Japanese household goods maker Kao rose on Thursday after the company said it has jointly developed an antibody that suppresses new coronavirus infections.

The VHH antibody developed by the partnership is derived from camelids that are one-tenth the size of conventional antibodies and less costly to produce.

Kao, along with researchers at Kitasato University and Japanese biotech startup Epsilon Molecular Engineering, said they hope the findings will lead to the development of drugs for treating coronavirus infections.

The maker drew on experience with culturing microorganisms for detergents. In the joint study, Kao used technology from the

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Hand-washing keeps Japan’s Kao healthy amid pandemic

TOKYO — Cosmetics maker Kao sees brisk sales of hand soap to hygiene-minded Japanese consumers compensating for slower demand for its mainstay makeup line amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, in good news for investors anticipating higher returns.

“We will absolutely aim to increase our dividend for the 31st straight year,” CEO Michitaka Sawada told a general shareholders meeting in late March.

While the Tokyo-based company had already disclosed its planned 10-yen hike to 140 yen per share in early February, the positive message came as a relief to stockholders who attended the meeting amid an accelerating coronavirus outbreak.

Kao’s forecast

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