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UPDATE 1-Inovio, NIH to develop swine flu vaccine

* Co, NIH’s VRC unit to develop flu vaccines

* Shares rise 15 pct

Aug 10 (Reuters) - DNA-based vaccine maker Inovio Biomedical Corp INO.A said it will jointly develop universal influenza vaccines, including that for H1N1 swine flu strains, with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) research unit, sending its shares up about 15 percent.

Biomedical and NIH’s Vaccine Research Centre (VRC) will pool technologies to develop and advance vaccine candidates to provide broader protective capabilities against perpetually emerging new strains, the company said in a statement.

Last week, in an interview with Reuters, Inovio’s chief executive said the company was looking for a research and development partner for its universal vaccine.

The company calls its product a universal flu vaccine because it targets several strains. [ID:nWNBB2238]

Shares of Inovio were up 22 cents at $2.39 in morning trade Monday on Nasdaq. They touched a high of $2.50 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Anuradha Ramanathan in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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