Vaccine maker Novavax Inc said its seasonal flu vaccine candidate was well-tolerated in a mid-stage trial, sending its shares up 17 percent in pre-market trade.

The company said its trivalent seasonal influenza virus-like particle vaccine candidate induced robust immune responses against three influenza strains, including H1N1, and was well tolerated.

No vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported in the study and these results paved the way for Novavax to advance the vaccine into last-stage trials next year, the company said in a statement.

Seasonal epidemics of influenza kill between 250,000 and 500,000 people a year globally.

Shares of the company were up 15 percent at $6.92 in pre-market trade on Tuesday. They had closed at $6.04 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Anuradha Ramanathan in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)