Shares of several drugmakers developing potential vaccines or treatments for the deadly Ebola virus rose in premarket trading, continuing a run that started after federal officials confirmed that the first case of the disease has been diagnosed in the United States.
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. and NewLink Genetics Corp. all saw their stocks jump 6 percent or more about two hours before the markets open.
The Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday that a patient who had returned to the United States last month from Liberia had tested positive for Ebola and was being treated at a hospital in Dallas.
The disease is believed to have sickened more than 6,500 people in West Africa, and more than 3,000 deaths have been linked to it, according to
the World Health Organization. But those totals are considered underestimates. There are no proven drugs or vaccines for Ebola, a disease so rare that it’s been hard to attract investments in countermeasures.
The World Health Organization has worked to speed up the use of some experimental vaccines and companies are ramping up testing. Last month, NewLink Genetics said it would start safety testing of a vaccine within a few weeks. Inovio Pharmaceuticals plans to start human trials of a DNA-based vaccine in early 2015.
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of a potential Tekmira treatment in West Africa.
Shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals climbed 32 percent, or $6.67, to $27.81 in premarket trading. Inovio was up 6 percent, or 60 cents, to $10.45; and New Link climbed 12 percent, or $2.58, to $24. Another potential vaccine maker, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc., was up nearly 17 percent, or $1.62 to $11.40.
BioCryst said in August it had received a $4.1 million award from the National Institutes of Health to study its experimental antiviral medication for Ebola.
Date: October 1, 2014
Source: Associated Press
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