Stocks of pharmaceutical companies such as Tekmira, GlaxoSmithKline and Sarepta Therapeutics rose significantly on Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Ebola in the United States at a hospital in Dallas, Texas.
These firms, many of which have been working on Ebola research, thanks to millions of dollars of funding from the U.S. government, have already seen their stock grow stronger as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues. The deadly virus has killed more than 3,000 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in the largest outbreak ever recorded.
When news of the American patient broke Tuesday afternoon, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. stock jumped jumped 26.6 percent between 4:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m.
The Canadian firm has been working with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop its TKM-Ebola treatment, which has emerged as one of the leading drug candidates for use in the current outbreak.
Sarepta Therapeutics also saw an 11.3 percent increase in after-hours trading. NewLink Genetics Corporation stock jumped 16 percent. GlaxoSmithKline, which is also at the forefront of Ebola research, also saw a slight increase.
The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars on grants and contracts to biopharmaceutical research companies to research Ebola for more than a decade.