Tekmira says Ebola drug unlikely to work in study

Drugmaker Tekmira said Friday that an experimental treatment for a strain of Ebola will probably fail in a clinical trial.

The Canadian company said the mid-stage study reached a statistical futility boundary, meaning it's unlikely the trial will show the drug worked. Tekmira said it stopped enrolling new patients as a result. It is analyzing data from the trial and will make the results available as soon as possible.

The company's shares dropped $1.74, or 11.6 percent, to $13.28 on Friday.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. calls the drug TKM-Ebola-Guinea and it is designed to target the strain of the virus that is responsible for the active outbreak in West Africa. More than 11,000 people have died since that outbreak began in December 2013.

The company has been studying the drug in Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.

Tekmira is also running an early-stage trial of a drug called TKM-Ebola, which targets a slightly different strain of the virus. That study is happening in the U.S. and it involves only healthy patients. Tekmira expects results from that study in the second half of this year.

The company does not have any approved drugs and is also studying a potential treatment for hepatitis B.

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