Never heard of the company before this news, but apparently they won the contract from the EU. Here's the story from Forbes.com:
"AMSTERDAM (AFX) - Dutch biotechnology company Crucell NV said it was awarded a European Commission-funded grant for the development of a pandemic flu vaccine.
The 1.7 mln eur grant, which was awarded to a consortium of nine leading universities and companies working in the field of influenza research, will finance pre-clinical and clinical testing of H5N1 vaccines.
'With a vaccine already in clinical trial based on H9N2, Crucell broadens its pandemic influenza vaccine portfolio adding another potential pandemic strain,' commented Crucell's Chief Scientific Officer Jaap Goudsmit.
Three influenza subtypes, H5, H7 and H9 have caused highly pathogenic avian influenza. Although presently most vaccine development has focused on H5N1 strains, avian H7 and H9 influenza subtypes remain a pandemic threat and have caused infection in humans in Asia and Europe since 1996, Crucell noted."
The race is certainly on. There should be almost half a dozen "consumer-ready" H5N1 vaccines in about six months or so. There's already reports of some in existence, but until I see something from a medical journal showing they gave the vaccine to a pig then inoculated it with H5N1 and it didn't get sick will I believe any claims of efficacy. So keep me posted, New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet readers, cause I want to be one of the first to report on a successful human vaccine for H5N1.