August 13, 2010 / 9:56 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Vaccine maker Medicago Q2 loss widens on R&D expenses

* Q2 net loss C$4 mln vs C$2.8 mln yr ago

* Says to develop US vaccines facility

Aug 13 (Reuters) - Canadian biotechnology company Medicago Inc’s MDG.TO quarterly loss widened, primarily hurt by a rise in research and development expenses related to an upcoming mid-stage study of its H5N1 bird-flu vaccine.

The company will develop a facility in the United States to tap the seasonal and pandemic vaccine market, Chief Executive Andy Sheldon said in a statement.

For the second quarter, the company reported consolidated loss of C$4 million, or 3 Canadian cents a share, compared with a loss of C$2.8 million, or 3 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

Research and development expenses rose about C$1 million, to C$2.9 million.

Earlier this week, Medicago’s CEO told Reuters that the company is several years ahead of its competitors in the development and means to produce plant-based vaccines to respond rapidly to new strains of influenza. [ID:nN10164002]

Medicago, which makes protein-based vaccines from the genetic engineering of plants including tobacco, received a C$16 million investment from tobacco giant Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) in 2008. [ID:nN21123263]

Since then it has been active in developing vaccines for H1N1 swine flu and H5N1 avian influenzas.

Shares of the Quebec City-based company, which have fallen 27 percent in the past three months, closed at 36 Canadian cents Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)

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