WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549


                                    FORM 8-K

                                 CURRENT REPORT

                     PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE

                         SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported)      JANUARY 5, 2001

                         SHAMAN PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
              (Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

         DELAWARE                       0-21022                    94-3095806
(State or other jurisdiction     (Commission File Number)        (IRS Employer
     of incorporation)                                       Identification No.)

(Address of principal executive offices)                              (Zip Code)

Registrant's telephone number, including area code        (650) 952-7070

                                 NOT APPLICABLE
         (Former name or former address, if changed since last report.)

Item 3.   Bankruptcy

On January 5, 2001, Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc filed a petition for protection
under Federal Bankruptcy law in the U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of
California. The Company will file a plan of reorganization as soon as
practicable, and will continue operations, including the sales of its products.
A press release is attached hereto and incorporated herewith.

Item 7.    Exhibits
-------    --------

(a) Exhibits

99.1       Press Release, dated January 5, 2001



      Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the
registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the
undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

                                          SHAMAN PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.

Date: January 12, 2001                    By: /s/ Lisa A. Conte
                                          Lisa A. Conte
                                          President and Chief Executive Officer


                                                                   EXHIBIT 99.1

                      PRESS RELEASE, DATED JANUARY 5, 2001

Contact: Corporate Communications               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(650) 952-7070


South San Francisco, CA - January 5, 2001 - Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc (OTC BB:
SHPH.OB) today announced that it has voluntarily filed a Chapter 11
reorganization petition for protection under Federal Bankruptcy law in the
United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California. The decision to
seek protection was taken because the Company believes that a bankruptcy
reorganization provided the best means of maximizing the value of its real
estate lease and intellectual property for the benefit of its creditors and
shareholders. During the bankruptcy proceeding, Shaman will continue to operate
as a debtor in possession, and anticipates promptly filing a plan of
reorganization to restructure its debts.

Despite the filing, Shaman will continue to sell its products. Normal Stool
Formula (NSF) will be sold in the near term through General Nutrition Centers
(GNC) under a signed contract with GNC to market NSF as an anti-diarrheal
product to health food and specialty store channels. NSF and NSF-IB will also
continue to be sold through the Internet at and at 800-987-9920,
as well as through specific retail operations such as The Medicine Shoppe
Pharmacies and other smaller retail pharmacies.

Timing of the bankruptcy filing was imposed by several factors, including the
need to preserve the value of the Company's below-market lease which may be
assigned in bankruptcy to generate substantial funds for the Company and to
provide clear title to buyers or licensees of certain key intellectual property
assets of the Company. The Company has engaged Roth Capital Partners to assist
with the sale or licensing of certain of its key assets, including discontinued
pharmaceutical products.
This press release contains, among other things, certain statements of a
forward-looking nature relating to Shaman's ability to advance its development
and research programs. Such statements involve a number of risk and
uncertainties including the Risk Factors listed in the Shaman Pharmaceuticals,
Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10K and 10K/A for the year ended December 31, 1999.
These filings are available upon request at 650/952-7070. Also visit Shaman at