Tekmira stock opens big on news of first US Ebola case
- Experimental Ebola drug TKM-Ebola maker Tekmira's stock surged nearly 30% in after hours trading and opened up nearly 20% on Wednesday morning after the CDC announced the first locally diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States Tuesday afternoon.
- The patient was diagnosed in Dallas and is being treated in an isolation ward at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. It is unclear whether or not the patient was an aid worker, but the officials confirmed that he or she left Liberia on September 19 and entered the U.S. the following day in order to visit family.
- Four American doctors and aid workers previously infected with Ebola in Africa have already been undergoing treatment. Two of those patients were declared cured after treatment with Mapp Biopharma's ZMapp, while a third was certified free of the virus after being treated with Tekmira's TKM-Ebola. The fourth remains in treatment at Emory University Hospital.
Unlike Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Tekmira is not a privately-held company, giving investors an opportunity to show their enthusiasm for its products. The company has tried to temper expectations regarding TKM-Ebola, arguing that the current emergency provisions allowing for its use in infected patients do not constitute robust clinical trials.
The CDC urged caution after the announcement of the first locally-diagnosed Ebola care. “Ultimately, we are all connected by the air we breathe,” CDC chief Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday. “And we are invested in ensuring that the disease is controlled in Africa but also ensuring that where there are patients in this country who become ill, they're immediately isolated and we do the tried and true core public health interventions that stop the spread of Ebola.”
- BioPharma Dive US doc treated with Tekmira Ebola drug declared virus free