April 27, 2009 / 6:42 PM / 8 years ago

FACTBOX: Smaller drug firms gaining from swine flu

(Reuters) - The outbreak of swine flu that is suspected to have already killed 149 people in Mexico has boosted shares of a few companies -- ranging from vaccine developers to makers of disinfectants -- that could gain from attempts to control it.

Here is a summary of the top gainers Monday and some relevant facts about the companies.

* Novavax Inc (NVAX.O), a small viral vaccine maker, saw its shares rise as much as 173 percent.

-- Product : The company is currently running mid-stage trials on two vaccines that target seasonal influenza and the H5N1 flu strain.

-- Market Cap : $115.7 million, with 81.5 million shares outstanding as of April 13

-- Main Investors : Rajiv Modi (director), OppenheimerFunds Inc, Wellington Management Co LLP

-- Short Interest Ratio : About 2.7 percent of the stock outstanding was held in a short position as of April 13

* Shares of flu drug maker Biocryst Pharmaceuticals Inc (BCRX.O) rose as much as 122 percent.

-- Product : One of its drug candidates, peramivir, which is in mid-stage trials, is being developed as a treatment for influenza.

-- Market Cap : $84.7 million, with 38.3 million shares outstanding as of March 6

-- Main Investors : Baker Brothers Advisors, William Featheringill

-- Short Interest Ratio : About 2 percent of the stock was held in a short position as of March 6

* DNA-based vaccines maker Vical Inc (VICL.O) saw its shares rise about 30 percent.

-- Product : Vical has completed the early-stage trials for its candidate in the prevention of H5N1 influenza virus.

-- Market Cap : $102.1 million, with 40.4 million shares outstanding as of March 23

-- Main Investors : Temasek Holdings Private Ltd, James Singer

-- Short Interest Ratio : About 2 percent of the stock was held in short position as of March 23

* Shares of Pure Bioscience PURE.O, which makes antimicrobials and pesticides, surged 72 percent.

-- Product : Axen30, a disinfectant, that claims to kill the virus behind certain strains of influenza.

-- Market Cap : $56.8 million, with 30.7 million shares outstanding as of March 10

-- Main Investors : Michael Krall (CEO), Goldman Capital Management Inc

-- Short Interest Ratio : About 3 percent of the stock was held in a short position as of March 10

* Quidel Corp (QDEL.O), which makes a rapid flu test, saw shares soar 25 percent.

-- Product : QuickVue Influenza test that detects influenza type A and B viral antigens from a nasal swab or nasal wash specimen.

-- Market Cap : $287.1 million, with 30.1 million shares outstanding as of April 22

-- Main Investors : Jack Schuler (director), Fidelity Management & Research, Oracle Investment Management Inc

-- Short Interest Ratio : About 5 percent of the stock was held in a short position as of April 22

* Shares of medical diagnostic kit maker Meridian Bioscience Inc (VIVO.O) jumped as much as 13 percent.

-- Product : The company makes Tru Flu, a rapid test designed to make flu testing easier.

-- Market Cap : $656.09 million, with 40.4 million shares outstanding as of Jan 30

-- Main Investors : Barclays Global Investors N.A., Eagle Asset Management Inc, Fred Alger Management Inc

-- Short Interest Ratio: About 7 percent of the stock was held in a short position as of Jan 30

* Shares of Cerus Corp (CERS.O), which makes blood-testing systems, went up 38 percent.

-- Product : The company makes Intercept blood system, which is designed to inactivate blood-borne pathogens in donated blood components intended for transfusion.

-- Market Cap : $35.6 million, with 32.7 million shares outstanding as of April 9

-- Main Investors : Royce & Associates, AllianceBernstein L.P., Barclays Global Investors N.A.

-- Short Interest Ratio : About 1 percent of the stock was held in a short position as of April 9

* Biopharmaceutical company AVI BioPharma Inc's AVII.O shares rose about 45 percent.

-- Product : It develops RNA-based therapeutics candidates to fight against infectious diseases such as Ebola, Marburg viruses, genetic disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

-- Market Cap : $76.22 million, with 85.64 million shares outstanding as of March 24

-- Main Investors : Eastbourne Capital Management LLC, George Haywood

-- Short Interest Ratio: About 2 percent of the stock was held in a short position as of March 24

Compiled by Esha Dey, Anuradha Ramanathan and Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Kurian

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