Tekmira to begin Phase II trials on Ebola-Guinea drug

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, a therapeutic-solutions company that has been developing a cure for hepatitis B virus, said on Wednesday that its TKM-Ebola-Guinea drug therapy will be evaluated for possible use on Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

The drug, which will enter Phase II trials, is designed to target the Ebola-Guinea strain of the virus.

"New cases of Ebola virus disease infections are still occurring, and many people remain infected, which reinforces the critical need for effective therapeutics against this deadly disease," Tekmira President and CEO Dr. Mark Murray said. "If we are eventually successful in obtaining market approval of TKM-Ebola-Guinea, the company would provide patients a therapeutic option for this terrible disease, and in addition, this may place the company on a path to receive a Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher from the U.S. FDA that we can apply to another product in development to support expedited approval."

The treatment utilizes the genomic material of the Ebola strain to use RNA triggers that eliminate an infectious agent's ability to cause harm and to replicate itself. This method of therapeutics is being pursued for many diseases by Tekmira and others in the pharmaceutical field.