Shionogi & Co. is planning clinical trials by year-end for what may be one of Japan's first domestically produced COVID-19 vaccines to reach the market, as the globe races to secure enough doses to battle the pandemic.

The company plans to put its vaccine candidate into Phase 1 clinical trials in December, shift into Phase 2 by January and apply for tentative approval from the government, Shionogi CEO Isao Teshirogi said in an interview.

But a Phase 3 trial would likely be done overseas due to the relative lack of COVID-19 cases in Japan, he said.