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A Company That Makes an Ebola Drug Just Saw Its Stock Surge

Tekmira Stock Soars
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation's headquarters in Burnaby, British Columbia Aug. 5, 2014. Ben Nelms—Reuters

Share price was up by 45% after the FDA removed "potential roadblock"

Shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals shot up by 45% to $20.70 Friday afternoon and closed at $23 after the Canadian firm announced the FDA approved limited use of its Ebola drug.

The drug company’s shares had soared 18% in pre-market trading to $16.84 after Tekmira announced Thursday the FDA had verbally confirmed that it modified the full clinical hold on the drug TKM-Ebola to a partial clinical hold. The switch could allow potential use of the drug on Ebola-infected patients for what the World Health Organization has said is a global public health emergency.

“We are pleased that the FDA has considered the risk-reward of TKM-Ebola for infected patients. We have been closely watching the Ebola virus outbreak and its consequences, and we are willing to assist with any responsible use of TKM-Ebola,” Tekmira CEO and President Dr. Mark Murray said. “The foresight shown by the FDA removes one potential roadblock to doing so.”

Tekmira is one of several publicly-held companies investors are betting on as fears of Ebola rattle the world. Shares of BioCryst were up Friday by 12%, Sarepta by 5%, and NanoViricides by 6%.

Tekmira’s shares had risen by as much as 40% last week after Ebola outbreaks across West Africa, roughly a month after the FDA had placed the full clinical hold on the TKM-Ebola Phase I trial. Those initial gains were reversed after Mapp Biopharmaceuticals’ ZMapp Ebola drug was used to treat two American workers who had contracted Ebola in Africa and were flown to Emory University Hospital.

In March, Tekmira’s shares achieved an all-time high of over $34 when the FDA granted the drug a Fast Track designation, intended expedite the drug’s development, according to Tekmira.

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