A vaccine to counter the new coronavirus could be approved in about a year in an "optimistic" scenario, a agency which approves medicines for the European Union said on Thursday.
The European Medicines Agency, in communication with 33 developers, was doing all it could to speed up the approval process, the EMA's head of vaccines, Marco Cavaleri, said, but he was sceptical of claims any could be ready by September.
"For vaccines, since the development has to start from scratch ... we might look from an optimistic side in a year from now, so beginning of 2021," he told journalists.
He ruled out the possibility of skipping the third phase of a vaccine trial, which he said would be needed to be sure a vaccine was safe and effective.
The EMA is also looking at 115 different therapeutics, or treatments, for the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 300,000 deaths globally, according to World Health Organization data.
Cavaleri said some of those therapeutics could be approved in Europe as early as this summer, but he did not specify which.