Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:TKMR) (TSE:TKM) shares have been bouncing around on news about the drug maker’s treatment for the Ebola virus. Today they’re benefiting from news about the experimental treatment and its effectiveness in treating a disease that’s related to the Ebola virus.
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals’ treatment works
Bloomberg reported this week that monkeys infected with the Marburg virus survived after receiving Tekmira’s experimental drug. The Marburg virus is known to be just as deadly as the Ebola virus and is a relative of it. The results of this clinical trial were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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The study was the first one to show that Tekmira Pharmaceutical’s drug can work even if treatment is delayed up to three days. As a result, it could mean that the drug will be useful if an outbreak occurs. The drug that was tested isn’t the same one Tekmira developed to treat Ebola, but it is based on the same technology as it.
Tekmira shares rise on trial news
Tekmira is one of a few companies that are working on treatments for deadly diseases like the Ebola virus. Concerns about an outbreak of the deadly disease in West Africa have heightened investors’ awareness of companies that are working on a cure. So far at least 1,350 people in West Africa have died of Ebola, which causes bleeding that results in the organs shutting down.
Earlier this month, shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals skyrocketed, climbing by 45% as regulators in the U.S. said the drug maker may be able to give its experimental drug for Ebola to people in West Africa who had been infected. In the test of the Marburg drug, all of the monkeys that did not receive the treatment died, while all of those that did receive the treatment survived.
The Marburg drug may move into the first human testing phase within a year, depending on funding for the trial, according to the leader of the drug trial on monkeys. He added that he would take the drug himself if he was exposed to the Marburg virus.