Vical says gov’t clears melanoma vaccine for dogs

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Drug developer Vical Inc. said Monday the Agriculture Department approved Oncept, a vaccine intended to treat oral melanoma in dogs.

Vical developed the drug and licensed it to Merial Ltd., a division of French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis. It said Merial plans to launch Oncept at the North American Veterinary Conference, which starts later this week.

In morning trading, Vical shares rose 12 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $3.57. U.S.-listed shares of Sanofi-Aventis gained 65 cents to $40.84.