Biotech Company Hemispherx Goes Nuts After Announcing Collaboration With US On Ebola Treatment

EbolaREUTERS/2TangoHealth workers wearing protective clothing prepare themselves before to carrying an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in Monrovia Aug. 17, 2014.

A possible Ebola treatment is making the stock of yet another company go nuts.

Shares of Hemispherx Biopharma, a small biotech company with a market cap of just $US50 million, were up as much as 26% in pre-market trade on Monday after the company said the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases agreed to collaborate with the company on studies for a potential Ebola treatment.

In a press release, Hemispherx said, “the Company and USAMRIID scientists have agreed to test Alferon, the only multi-species, natural alpha interferon commercially approved in the U.S. and Ampligen, an experimental drug, to be evaluated against the deadly Ebola virus, which has been and remains a major focus of efforts at USAMRIID, a unit of the Department of Defence responsible for medical biological defence research.”

The surge in shares of Hemispherx on Monday comes after a summer that has seen Tekmira Pharmaceuticals gain more than 35% in the last three months on hopes that a trial of the company’s Ebola drug candidate, TKM-Ebola, could be used as an Ebola treatment.

In July, the FDA released its hold on TKM-Ebola to a “partial clinical hold,” which allows for the potential use of the drug in patients who either have Ebola or are suspected to have the disease.

The announcement from Hemispherx comes after an AP report said Liberia has again become a hotspot for the disease after doctors believed they had the disease beat.

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