Tekmira's Ebola trials halted over efficacy concerns
- TKM-Ebola-Guinea, an investigational treatment for Ebola, did not demonstrate therapeutic efficacy in clinical trials.
- Although researchers have conceded that there was no overall therapeutic benefit, Peter Hornby told the WSJ that "final conclusions on efficacy and tolerability must await full analysis."
- Enrollment in the trials has been closed amid the effectiveness concerns and the waning of the virus.
On October 1, Tekmira's stock was up 30% on news that one of four doctors, who had been infected with Ebola while treating patients in West Africa, had been declared virus-free after treatment with TKM-Ebola. This came after TKM-Ebola had been cleared by the FDA for emergency treatment of Americans and Canadians with Ebola, and a protocol had been put in place to speed up trials.
Fall 2014 was a very different time. It was near the height of the Ebola crisis, which officially started at the end of 2013, and ended up killing more than 11,000 people. Tekmira's drug, along with other Ebola treatments in development by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals, the National Institutes of Health, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck/Newlink, are now floundering at various stages of development because the virus has been effectively contained—for now.
However, at least one trial, which uses the "ring vaccination" approach, is still underway.