Biomira Inc. shares more than doubled on Friday on positive results for a lung cancer vaccine the company is developing with Germany's Merck.

Shares of Biomira ( TSX:BRA)the company were up $1.90, or almost 102.7 per cent, to $3.75 in Toronto, more than doubling its market capitalisation to $272 million.

The two pharmaceutical companies said the vaccine, dubbed L-BLP25, is designed to induce an immune response in the body to cancer cells.

"We believe that the results to date are very exciting, and we look forward to presenting the data," said Alex McPherson, the president and CEO of Biomira, in the wake of some recent clinical trials.

"The data are encouraging and support plans for Merck KGaA and its U.S. subsidiary, EMD Pharmaceuticals, to continue the collaborative development of L-BLP25 with Biomira," said Bernhard Ehmer, a Merck vice-president and head of the firm's oncology business area.

Ehmer said the drug companies plan to discuss a Phase III trial with regulatory authorities in 2005.