WASHINGTON - A Canadian drugmaker working on an experimental drug for Ebola says it's not ready to make the treatment available in Africa, although it continues discussions with governments and international agencies trying to contain the deadly Ebola outbreak.
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) is one of a handful of companies worldwide developing drugs to treat Ebola. Last week, it made international headlines when it announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had eased a safety hold that had been placed on its treatment, TKM-Ebola, due to safety problems that emerged in early testing. The company suggested the move might clear the way for emergency use of the drug in infected patients.
That news sparked a frenzy of buying in Tekmira's shares last week, with the stock jumping by 25 percent at one point during trading on Aug. 8. In Tuesday trading, however, the frenzy reversed and the stock dropped by 22 percent.
Now comes Tekmira's CEO saying on Wednesday that the "regulatory framework" for giving the drug to African patients is not clear. That, combined with an earnings report that fell short of expectations, has the stock dropping again in after-hour trading on Wednesday, where it's down nearly 10 percent to $16.75.