Tekmira Shares Continue to Rise in the Search for Ebola Cure - Analyst Blog

Shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. ( TKMR ) continued to move north following encouraging news from the FDA on its Ebola candidate TKM-Ebola. After gaining in excess of 45% last Friday (Aug 8), investors remained enthusiastic about the Canadian company with the stock jumping a further 14.98% to end the Aug 11 trading session at $23.80 per share.

The FDA had verbally communicated to Tekmira its decision to convert the full clinical hold on the company's Ebola candidate, TKM-Ebola, to a partial one. The FDA's decision came in the wake of mounting pressure on the agency to expedite the approval of a drug to combat the latest and the most deadly outbreak of the disease (read Tekmira Pharma Soars on FDA Announcement over Ebola Drug ).

Ebola has been wrecking havoc, claiming multiple lives, since its latest outbreak earlier this year in Africa. According to media reports, this is the worst outbreak since the disease first surfaced in 1976.

We remind investors that the U.S. regulatory body had placed a full clinical hold on Tekmira's phase I study on TKM-Ebola in Jul 2014 due to safety concerns. When the clinical hold was enforced Tekmira had completed the single ascending portion of the study. The multiple ascending dose portion of the study on TKM-Ebola is still on clinical hold.

TKM-Ebola is being developed by Tekmira under a contract, valued at $140 million, with the U.S. Department of Defense. Apart from Tekmira, privately held Mapp Biopharmaceutical and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals ( BCRX ) are also developing therapies to combat Ebola.

The severity of the latest outbreak has prompted the World Health Organization to declare it as an international public health emergency, according to a report appearing in The Guardian. The WHO has called upon the international medical community to render help to the West African nations afflicted by the disease. We believe that the modification of the clinical hold on Tekmira's TKM-Ebola is a step in the right direction by the FDA as the world desperately searches for measures to combat this dreaded disease (read: Tekmira Pharma in Focus as the World Awaits Ebola Treatment ).

Tekmira carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked healthcare stocks include Endo International ( ENDP ) and Gilead Sciences ( GILD ). Both stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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