In this illustration photo medical syringe is seen with 'coronavirus' sign in the background. Picture taken in Krakow, Poland on August 11, 2020. (NurPhoto/Getty/Kyodo)

TOKYO - A biotechnology venture in Japan said Thursday it started research and development of a peptide vaccine against the coronavirus and has completed a patent application filing.

The vaccine could be effective in controlling the virus infection and suppressing the severe progression of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, OncoTherapy Science Inc. said in a statement.

Founded in 2001, OncoTherapy Science based in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, has been working to develop cancer peptide vaccines and to provide a service for antigen-specific immune response analysis.