Dutch biotech Crucell has won a lucrative new contract from the US federal government to develop a vaccine against HIV .

The $16.2 million contract, awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will see Crucell collaborate with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School and Charles River Laboratories

The program focuses on the use of live viral vectors for the design and development of an HIV vaccine. A number of HIV genes will be tested for insertion into the vector, with the best antigens being selected for development into products suitable for Phase I and II clinical trials in humans.