Patient's death weighs on stock
Shares of Chimerix fell during the market's best day of the year Wednesday after the death of a person taking the company's drug to treat an Ebola infection.
The stock lost 32 cents, or 1%, to end at $32.91 but had been down much more during the day. Officials said Thomas Eric Duncan died after being the first confirmed case of a person with an Ebola in the U.S. Duncan was given Chimerix's experimental drug brincidofovir to help combat the infection.
The company's stock had been down as much as 15% during the day but recovered as the market rallied and investors absorbed the news. The shares have more than doubled in value this year as investors viewed the company's treatment as one of the most promising ways to deal with the Ebola outbreak.
On Tuesday, the company said its brincidofovir drug had good results for patients infected with certain respiratory diseases.
Speculators have been trying to find a way to profit from the Ebola outbreak. There is no cure to date. So far, the infection has k!lled thousands of people in West Africa, which is where it is most concentrated.
Investors speculated the drug from Chimerix would be a promising way to arrest the rise of the disease.
Another company involved in working on treatments for infectious diseases is Canada-based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals. That stock seemed to benefit a bit from its rival's setback. Shares of Tekmira added $1.12, or 5%, to end at $23.86 Wednesday. The company is working on a drug code-named TKM-Ebola. It's in trial phase, and investors hope it could be effective.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, which is also developing treatments for hard-to-cure diseases, added 49 cents, or 4%, to end at $11.76 Wednesday. The company is based in Durham, N.C., and is working on a range of treatments for infectious diseases, including the flu.