UPDATE 1-Tekmira starts limited manufacturing of therapeutic for Ebola

Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:54pm EDT
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(Adds background on other companies developing Ebola treatments)

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Canadian drugmaker Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp has begun limited manufacturing of a therapeutic targeting the Ebola-Guinea virus.

The pharmaceutical company said on Tuesday that the new drug, part of its TKM-Ebola program, would be available by early December but did not specify how many doses it was making.

Tekmira was not available for comment on the therapeutic, including whether it was manufacturing a drug or vaccine.

Tekmira's investigational new drug application to U.S. regulators for TKM-Ebola remains on partial clinical hold, with the issue expected to be resolved in the quarter.

U.S.-listed shares of the company rose as much as 6 percent in trading after the company gave an update on its Ebola program.

Tekmira has completed the design of a modified RNAi (ribonucleic acid interference) drug that targets the Ebola-Guinea variant, the virus responsible for the worst outbreak on record that has hit hardest Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

TKM-Ebola, an RNAi therapeutic, works by preventing the virus from replicating.

The European Medicines Agency said on Monday it was ready to offer Ebola treatments and vaccines the benefits of "orphan" drug status - including extended market exclusivity - in a bid to encourage their development.   Continued...