Ebola has officially been documented in the United States, with a Dallas man returning from Liberia with the disease. With panic levels rising, so are stocks of the drug companies formulating cures, CNN reports .
Upon the announcement of Ebola’s entrance into the U.S. on Tuesday, Tekmira Pharamaceuticals (TKMR) elevated 19% on Wednesday. Last month, the company’s test drug, TKM-Ebola, was approved by the FDA to begin tests with those confirmed to be afflicted with the disease.
Hemispherx Biopharma (HEB) also jumped 11% with the announcement that it is conducting several research partnerships in an effort to develop a cure. Also, Newlink Genetics (NLNK) shares went up 8%. The company obtained exclusive rights to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s experimental Ebola vaccine.
The sudden jump for the industry, however, is not to be banked on. With the ongoing outbreak in Africa and its confirmed arrival in the U.S., widespread fear is what fuels the stocks sudden surges. And that fear could cause unpredictable swings for stocks in the industry. There’s no guarantee which company will develop the cure, and firms such as Tekmira are worth around $470 million, a far cry from drug giants like Merck (MRK) at $171 billion. Also, limited supplies of these drugs, which are still considered experimental, add to the doubt associated with investing in such commodities.
Also noteworthy, Lakeland Industries (LAKE), a protective clothing provider, saw an 8% leap, while most major airlines decreased over 3%.