Shares of Hookipa Pharma Inc. (HOOK) - Get Report surged in after-hours trading Thursday after the company said the FDA approved an early stage trial of its treatment for human papilloma virus (HPV)-positive cancers.

The stock rose $2.46, or 37% to $9.14 in after-hours action.

The company said in a statement that it intends to start the phase 1/2 clinical trial of its TheraT immunotherapy in the second half of 2019 with preliminary safety and efficacy data expected in late 2020 or early 2021.

Human papilloma virus is estimated to cause about 5% of the worldwide burden of cancer including approximately 99% of cervical cancers, 25% to 60% of head and neck cancers, 70% of vaginal cancers and 88% of anal cancers, the company said.