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IMV Shares Surge After COVID Vaccine Program Update

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based IMV published positive data from preclinical trials of its early stage coronavirus vaccine candidate Monday.

IMV Inc.  (IMV) - Get IMV Inc. Report shares surged higher Monday after the Canadian biotech updated progress on its coronavirus vaccine program, adding it will being preclinical studies on the new COVID variant first identified in the United Kingdom.

IMV said trials of its vaccine candidate, DPX-COVID-19, resulted in a favorable safety profile and the potential for long-duration antibody tiers involved in protecting patients against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  IMV also said that it's planning to conduct complementary preclinical studies, including test on the new COVID variants, with an update expected in the first quarter of next year.

“Synthetic technologies are paving the way to a new generation of vaccine solutions with the promise to revolutionize the way we protect ourselves from infectious diseases," said CEO Frederic Ors. "Our vaccine is one of the first peptide-based targeted vaccines in development for COVID-19. The combination of its new mechanism of action, a lyophilized formulation with long-term stability, and capacity for large-scale manufacturing and supply has the potential to make it accessible on a global scale. 

“We believe that DPX-based vaccines represent a compelling solution to COVID-19 and future pandemics," he added. "Our goal and focus will be to generate clinical demonstration in the first part of 2021 and by then we should have a better understanding of the duration of the protection induced by the most advanced vaccines and the possible need to revaccinate the population.”  

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IMV's U.S.-listed shares were marked 18% higher in pre-market trading Monday to indicate an opening bell price of $3.60 each on the Nasdaq. 

The new COVID-19 variant has been detected in Norway, Sweden and Finland, and has traveled as far as South Korea and Indonesia after first being identified earlier this month in the United Kingdom.

Health officials in the Canadian province of Ontario, the country's largest, identified two cases yesterday, while Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the new strain is is something “to follow very carefully”.