Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) Stock Up on Rumored Takeover

Shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. (TKMR) were up +1.97 or +9.97 percent to $21.72 per share in Thursday's premarket. The company was featured in an article in the UK's Daily Mail as a potential takeover target following last week's news of Intermune's (ITMN) takeover by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche. Tekmira stock closed at $19.75 per share, up +0.62 or +3.24 percent in Wednesday's regular trading session.

Vancouver, Canada based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. is a leading developer of treatments using RNA interference or RNAi and has three wholly owned subsidiaries: Protiva Biotherapeutics Inc., Protiva Agricultural Development Company Inc. and Protiva Biotherapeutics U.S.A. Inc. The company was recently thrust into the spotlight with the outbreak of the Ebola virus and received $140 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop the TKM-Ebola treatment to combat the Ebola outbreak.
The company is also developing a treatment for hepatitis-B infection, TKM-HBV.

Tekmira's phase-1 trials for TKM Ebola were halted in July due to safety concerns in human testing, but the hold on trials were modified on August 7th by the FDA in light of the severity of the outbreak. The treatment, which was being injected into humans before the FDA halted trials, targets the genetic material of the Ebola virus. The FDA gave verbal approval to fast track the treatment, which sent Tekmira stock up to $23.80 on August 11th.

In a press release on August 13th, the company stated that, "Our therapeutic, TKM-Ebola, is currently an unapproved agent and the regulatory framework to support its use in Africa has not yet been established. Given the severity of the situation, we are carefully evaluating options for use of our investigational drug within accepted clinical and regulatory protocols. This includes discussions with government agencies and NGO's, including the WHO, in various countries on the potential use of TKM-Ebola to treat Ebola virus infected individuals. There can be no assurance that an appropriate framework for the use of this product will be found. We will continue to provide updates as necessary when clinical and regulatory pathways become confirmed.

The UK Daily Mail published an article late yesterday suggesting that two UK pharmaceutical companies were possible suitors for a Tekmira takeover: GlaxoSmithKline GSK and Shire SHPG. Shire is currently involved in a merger with AbbVie (ABBV).

Because of the premium paid for Intermune in last week's takeover by Roche, the market is estimating shares of Tekmira could be worth as much as $40 per share. According to the Daily Mail article, possibly two other companies which were not named could also be interested in acquiring Tekmira.

Tekmira stock has been on a roller coaster this month, beginning the month under $15 per share and trading as high as $23.80 after the FDA announcement modifying their hold on trials. The stock was trading under $10 per share in July. The news that the company is a potential takeover target will add significant volatility to Tekmira shares and could present an opportunity for savvy investors.

Other News About Tekmira
Tekmira Up 4% On Positive Ebola-Related Drug Study
Stock rose after studies showed positive results for Ebola treatment on animals .
Tekmira's Lipid Nanoparticle (LNP) Technology Targeting Marburg Virus Highlighted in Scientific Publication
Publication reported positive results for Tekmira's LNP technology against the Marburg virus.

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Published on Aug 28, 2014
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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