Shares of Tekmira (TSX:TKM, Nasdaq:TKMR) are soaring in after market trading after news broke of the first diagnosis of Ebola in the United States. A patient at Dallas’s Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has tested positive for Ebola, and is currently being treated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this afternoon confirmed that the infected patient left Liberia on Sept. 19th and arrived in the U.S. the next day, apparently without symptoms.
During the current outbreak, there have been other Americans infected with Ebola, but they were diagnosed in Africa before being flown back to the U.S. to receive experimental therapies.
The most recent example was Dr. Rick Sacra, who, earlier this month, received Tekmira’s TKM-Ebola in a Nebraska Medical biocontainment unit. Dr. Sacra has been released and is expected to make a full recovery.
Scrambling officials have looked to Tekmira because its treatment successfully protected four monkeys who were given seven doses of the treatment after being infected with high-doses of Ebola in a 2010 study. Early in August, Tekmira announced that the FDA had verbally confirmed it had modified the full clinical hold placed on its TKM-Ebola treatment.
The Wall Street Journal Sunday, cited a report from the World Health Organization that said 3,091 people have died of “confirmed, suspected or probable” cases of Ebola, the worst outbreak ever.
CDC director Thomas Frieden looked to calm the public’s nerves Tuesday.
“The bottom line here is that I have no doubt that we will control this importation, or this case of Ebola, so that it does not spread widely in this country,” he said. “It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual could develop Ebola in the coming weeks. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”
At press time, shares of Tekmira in the Nasdaq after-market were up 25.02% 26.43.