Japanese biotech AnGes Inc. expects its coronavirus vaccine to be ready as early as the first half of 2021, if it can overcome supply chain and production hurdles, the company's founder has said.

The Osaka-based firm got a headstart in the potential COVID-19 vaccine development by repurposing its hypertension vaccine that had already passed through high safety and regulatory standards and other hurdles.

Ryuichi Morishita said that the health ministry and Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency "already had strong confidence in our product" because of that experience.