Novavax begins H1N1 flu vaccine study in Mexico, shares rise

* Forms pact with Avimex Labs, GE Healthcare

* Avimex to market vaccine in Mexico if approved

* Shares up 7 pct in pre-market trade

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Vaccine maker Novavax Inc NVAX.O said it initiated a clinical study of its vaccine for H1N1 swine flu in Mexico in collaboration with Avimex Laboratories and GE Healthcare, sending its shares up 7 percent.

The pivotal study will evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of the virus-like-particle vaccine, Novavax said in a statement.

Avimex, which is funding the trial, is expected to market the vaccine in Mexico if approved, it said.

GE Healthcare will support the study by providing its single-use bioprocessing technologies for vaccine production.

Novavax shares were up 7 percent at $4.00 in pre-market trade. They closed at $3.75 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)