Canada's Immunovaccine Inc says test of Ebola vaccine promising

Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:14pm EDT
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Aug 25 (Reuters) - Four monkeys survived the Ebola virus after being injected with Immunovaccine Inc's experimental vaccine, the tiny Canadian company said on Monday, an announcement that sent its stock soaring.

The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company said four monkeys received its vaccine and later survived a dose of Ebola virus that normally would have been lethal. Two other animals that did not receive the vaccine died within a week.

The tests were performed by the U.S. Health Department's National Institutes of Health, based in Maryland.

Immunovaccine, which had a market capitalization of about C$77 million as of Friday, is one of a handful of companies testing potential vaccines for the Ebola virus, which has killed nearly 1,500 people in West Africa.

Other companies testing Ebola vaccines include U.S.-based NewLink Genetics Corp, which holds the licence for a vaccine developed by the Canadian government, and privately held Profectus BioSciences.

Immunovaccine said it is exploring options to develop the vaccine with various organizations. The company is also developing therapies for cancer and a vaccine for anthrax.

Its stock on the TSX Venture Exchange jumped as much as 44 percent, and was up 26.8 percent at C$1.23 around midday, after a trading halt. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by David Gregorio)